Menorrhagia II: is the 80-mL blood loss criterion useful in management of complaint of menorrhagia?

Pamela E Warner, Hilary O D Critchley, Mary Ann Lumsden, Mary Campbell-Brown, Anne Douglas, Gordon D Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Menorrhagia is defined in terms of statistical"abnormality"as blood loss of >80 mL. We examined the usefulness of this definition in women who were referred to gynecology clinics with heavy periods.

STUDY DESIGN: A questionnaire survey of 952 menstrual complaint referrals at 3 hospital gynaecology clinics in Glasgow and Edinburgh included 226 women with heavy periods who had also consented to the measurement of their blood loss.

RESULTS: Women reported a range of problems with their periods, but absolute volume (31.2%) was less prevalent than period pain (37.5%), mood change (35.7%), and change in the amount (volume) of the period (33.8%). Although there were associations with volume, these associations were due to the heaviest and lightest of the loss groups, whereas the 2 groups with loss either side of 80 mL were virtually indistinguishable.

CONCLUSION: The 80-mL criterion for menorrhagia is of limited clinical usefulness because it is prognostic neither for problems nor iron status and apparently does not guide management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-9
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004


  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Blood Volume
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypovolemia
  • Menorrhagia
  • Menstruation
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Questionnaires
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index


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