PREPARING FOR YOUR GP APPOINTMENT
If you feel your periods are impacting your daily life and you may be suffering from heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), it is important to seek advice from your GP and/or if you are comfortable and able to do so, discussing this with your parents/carer. During your consultation, your GP is likely to ask you key questions, which will enable them to make a clear diagnosis of HMB:
How much do you bleed?
How does it affect your daily life?
Does your bleeding affect you physically, i.e. do you find yourself breathless and faint?
During the day, would you manage 2-3 hours without changing your pad or tampon?
Do you have to change sanitary protection (pads or tampons) at night?
If HMB is diagnosed, depending on your medical history, the cause of your heavy bleeding may need to be investigated further.
In almost 50% of women, there is not an obvious cause for HMB. In some women there are certain high-risk factors that should be checked, for example, if you experience bleeding between periods or after sex, or if you have pelvic pressure or pain.
Further tests can rule out serious illness, and may include:
A pelvic examination
An internal vaginal examination to check for any lumps, swelling or anything unusual in the pelvis.
A sample of blood is taken from a vessel in the arm and examined under a microscope or tested with chemicals to assess your general health, check for infection and screen for conditions.
An endometrial biopsy
A small sample of the lining of the uterus is taken and looked at under a microscope for abnormal cells.
An ultrasound scan
A procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body to support diagnosis of conditions.
PP-UN-WHC-GB-0050 September 2023