An estimated 10%–30% of menstruating women experience menorrhagia at some time during their reproductive lives. Acute menorrhagia may present as an emergency requiring prompt medical or surgical intervention. Chronic menorrhagia affects a woman’s quality of life in her work, family, and social interactions. Medical management is the first line of therapy for chronic menorrhagia. Agents that have been used to treat menorrhagia include iron, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, desmopressin, antifibrinolytics, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, androgens, combined oral contraceptives, and progestins. Progestins can be administered systemically or locally and may be given cyclically or continuously. Increased use of effective medical therapies has the potential to reduce the number of surgical procedures, such as endometrial ablation and hysterectomy.
Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians
Learning Objectives: After completion of this article, the reader should be able to recall the psychosocial and medical consequences of chronic menorrhagia, summarize the safety and efficacy of various treatments, and explain that effective medical treatment can reduce the number of surgical procedures.