Women's health toolkit

This Women’s Health Hub is categorised into sections best representing the needs of women at different stages of their lives.

Key facts about Menstrual dysfunction

  1. Dysfunction of the menstrual cycle causes physical, social and psychological impact, compromising education, work, social and family life.1,2,3
  2. There are many myths and stigma about periods meaning many women and girls are too embarrassed to discuss their problems. Empowering women of all ages to raise their concerns openly, including any problems related to sex, improves the short and long-term outcomes.
  3. Not all menstrual dysfunction causes bleeding problems. Taking a careful history or using a symptom diary can be helpful in determining a cyclical pattern of associated bowel or urinary or mood problems.
  4. One in five women of reproductive age suffer with heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), causing one in 20 women aged 30-49 to contact their GP each year.1
  5. One in 10 women of reproductive age suffer with endometriosis4, affecting 1.5 million women - the same number diagnosed with diabetes5 – costing the health and social care economy an estimated £8.2 billion/year.
  6. Early management of endometriosis is important to reduce the long-term consequences of untreated disease: subfertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.2
  7. Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), defined as menopause aged less than 40, affects 1 in 100 women. Management with replacement hormone therapy reduces the long-term consequences of POI: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment.3
  8. The psychological impact of menstrual disorders is underestimated; a recent survey of women with heavy menstrual bleeding found that of 1000 surveyed6:

4% experienced anxiety

67% suffered with depression.

  1. Endometrial cancer is the commonest gynaecological malignancy in the UK with increasing incidence - exacerbated by obesity - with nearly 9000 new cases diagnosed in 20157.
  2. Recently published NICE guidance provide evidence based recommendations on the management of menstrual dysfunction, much of which can be managed in primary care with specialist referral for diagnosis and treatment when indicated or chosen.1,2,3

References:

  1. Heavy menstrual bleeding: assessment and management. NICE Guideline (NG88). NICE, March 2018 (updated November 2018)
  2. NICE. Endometriosis: diagnosis and management. NICE Guideline (NG 73). NICE, September 2017
  3. NICE. Menopause: diagnosis and management. NICE Guideline (NG23). NICE, November 2015, updated December 2019. 
  4. Rogers PA, D'Hooghe TM, Fazleabas A, et al. Priorities for endometriosis research: recommendations from an international consensus workshop. Reprod Sci 2009;16(4):335-46
  5. Diabetes UK: Diabetes prevalence 2020
  6. Wear White Again, Hologic survey 2017
  7. Uterine Cancer Statistics.