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Title: Heavy menstrual bleeding : who suffers, who consults and why?
Author: Santer, Miriam
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Aims: To ascertain the prevalence in the community of heavy periods and period pain, and of judging periods to be a ‘problem’; To model reporting of ‘problem’ periods and consulting in terms of socio-demographic, other non-menstrual health factors and menstrual symptoms; To investigate self care, informal and formal help-seeking amongst women with heavy menstrual bleeding. Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 4610 women aged 25 to 44 sampled through general practice lists with a response rate of 61.5% after one reminder. Results: Of women who had menstruated in the past six months, 30% reported heavy periods, a further 5% very heavy periods and 15% severe period pain. Only 22% reported their periods as a marked or severe problem. Multivariate logistic regression showed ‘problem’ periods to be associated with reported use of non-hormonal or no contraception, longstanding illness, heaviness and pain. Severe pain was at least as strongly associated with ‘problem’ periods as very heavy loss. Qualitative findings suggested that many women spoke with uncertainty about judging ‘heaviness’, referring to a variety of factors including personal norm, degree of difficulty in coping with blood loss or pattern of loss. Judging ‘problem’ periods seemed more straightforward focusing largely on impact on everyday life. Consulting about periods in the last six months was reported by 15% of all women and 23% of women reporting heavy or very heavy loss. Multivariate analysis showed that, amongst those reporting heavy periods, consulting in the last six months was associated with reporting ‘very heavy’ loss, resting most periods, shorter duration of symptoms and reporting periods as a ‘problem’. Conclusions: The emphasis on self care and informal information-seeking, together with the sometimes limited knowledge of treatments available, suggests the need for greater communication with women, both through dissemination of health education materials and through the popular media.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available