How is menorrhagia diagnosed?

Menorrhagia is diagnosed by your doctor through a series of questions about your medical history and menstrual cycles. Usually for women with menorrhagia bleeding lasts for more than 7 days and more blood is lost (80 milliliters compared to 60 milliliters).

Your doctor may ask for information about:

  • Your age when you got your first period
  • Length of your menstrual cycle
  • Number of days your period lasts
  • Number of days your period is heavy
  • Quality of life during your period
  • Family members with a history of heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Stress you are facing
  • Weight problems
  • Current medications

Physical tests or exams done to diagnose menorrhagia may include:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood test to check thyroid, check for anemia and how the blood clots
  • Pap test to check cells from cervix for changes
  • Endometrial biopsy to check uterine tissue for cancer or abnormalities
  • Ultrasound to check function of blood vessels, tissues and organs

Sometimes additional tests are still required to understand the cause of bleeding, including:

  • Sonohysterogram to check for problems in the lining of the uterus
  • Hysteroscopy to check for polyps, fibroids or other problems
  • Dilation and curettage (“D&C”). This test can also treat the cause of the bleeding. During this test, the lining of the uterus is scraped and examined under sedation.

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