Flashcards in ABNORMAL UTERINE BLEEDING Deck (46):
What do we mean by menorrhagia?
Heavy cyclical periods, which interfere with physical, social and emotional quality of life.
In terms of volume, what is the definition of menorrhagia?
More than 80 mL of menstrual blood loss (MBL) per period. This represents 2 SDs above the mean, which is about 40 mL.
What is the incidence of true menorrhagia in Western Europe?
What are the different way you might diagnose menorrhagia?
Subjective assessment based on history
Pictorial blood loss assessment charts
Objective assessment (only really performed during clinical trials - rarely used diagnostically)
What are the systemic disorders that can cause menorrhagia?
Clotting disorders (eg von Willebrand disease/haemophilia)
What are the local causes of menorrhagia?
Endometriosis / Adenomyosis
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
What are the iatrogenic causes of menorrhagia?
Intrauterine contraceptive devices
How do fibroids lead to menorrhagia?
Enlarge uterine cavity, thereby increasing surface area of endometrium from which menstruation occurs.
Produce prostaglandins, which have been implicated in aetiology of menorrhagia.
What is the most common cause of menorrhagia?
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), which basically means idiopathic menorrhagia. It is a diagnosis of exclusion.
What is the most complication associated with menorrhagia?
Iron deficiency anaemia
What are the signs in a history that point to a diagnosis of true menorrhagia?
Presence of clots and flooding
Wearing double sanitary towel protection (internal and external)
Interference with work and social events
Menstrual pain, worst when flow is at its heaviest
What investigations might you in a patient with menorrhagia?
Ultrasound - fibroids and adnexal masses
With which patients with menorrhagia would you perform an endometrial biopsy?
All women aged over 45
OR in those who have risk factors in history such as persistent intermenstrual bleeding or suspicious findings on ultrasound, or risk factors such as PCOS or high BMI.
What might hysteroscopy reveal in a patient with menorrhagia?
What are the two main types of medical therapy used in the management of menorrhagia?
What is the most effective and most commonly used antifibrinolytic in the management of menorrhagia?
How does tranexamic acid work?
Inhibits activation of plasminogen to plasmin.
What is the most important side effect of tranexamic acid?
Increased risk of clotting
Apart from antifibrinolytics, what other non-hormonal treatment can be used to menorrhagia?
Prostaglandin inhibitors - NSAIDs such as aspirin and mefenamic acid
What is the first line NSAID used in the management of menorrhagia?
Do women prescribed tranexamic acid for the management of menorrhagia take it all month round or only during menses?
Only during menses
What are the different types of hormonal therapy that can be used in the management of menorrhagia?
Intrauterine systems - such as hormone coil
Combined oral contraceptive pill
Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists
What are the main side effects of intrauterine systems used in the management of menorrhagia?
It is a contraceptive, so temporary infertility
Amenorrhea occurs in up to 50% of long term users
What are the main side effects of the combined oral contraceptive pill?
Increased risk of thrombosis
Spotting in the first few months of use
Slight increase risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer
Increased risk of developing gallstones
What is Danazol, one of the types of hormonal therapies used in the management of menorrhagia?
A testosterone derivative which has a number of effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. It is not commonly used due to the androgenic side effects, but is very effective in treatment menorrhagia.
How do gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists work to treat menorrhagia?
They suppress the pituitary-ovarian function, effectively inducing a temporary menopausal state.
Why can gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists not be used as a long term option to treat menorrhagia?
There is a subsequent bone density loss. This relegates their clinical use to that of pre-operative aids.
What are the first line drugs used in the treatment of menorrhagia?
This depends on whether the patient requires contraception or not. Either hormonal therapy (intrauterine systems are first line before COCP) or tranexamic and/or mefenamic acid.
What are the surgical options for patients with dysfunctional uterine bleeding (idiopathic menorrhagia)?
What are the most common operative complications of endometrial ablation?
Uterine perforation - causes trauma to the GI and GU tracts, major blood vessels resulting in peritonitis and haemorrhage.
Fluid overload - the use of non-electrolytic solutions such as 1.5% glycine for pressures needed to distend uterine wall predispose to absorption of large quantities of fluid.
What are the short term complications of a hysterectomy?
Fever - often not associated with infection
Urinary tract damage - ureter (1 in 200) and bladder (1 in 100)
Bowel damage - (1 in 200)
What are the longer term complications of a hysterectomy?
Vaginal vault prolapse
What is the rate of complications of hysterectomies?
Half of women undergoing abdominal hysterectomies
A quarter of those undergoing vaginal hysterectomy
What is the definition of post-menopausal bleeding?
Vaginal bleeding that occurs 12 months after the menopause
What proportion of women with post-menopausal bleeding will be found to have a malignancy?
What is the most common cause of post-menopausal bleeding?
Atrophic changes to any part of the female genitalia due to oestrogen deficiency. However, all other causes especially cancer must be ruled out to make this diagnosis.
What are the causes of post-menopausal bleeding associated with the ovaries?
Carcinoma of the ovary
Oestrogen secreting tumour
What are the causes of post-menopausal bleeding associated with the uterine body?
Myometrium: submucous fibroid
Atrophic changes of the endometrium
Simple or atypical carcinoma
What are the causes of post-menopausal bleeding associated with the cervix?
What are the causes of post-menopausal bleeding associated with the vagina?
What are the causes of post-menopausal bleeding associated with the urethra?
Urethral caruncle (associated with oestrogen deficiency)
What are the causes of post-menopausal bleeding associated with the vulva?
As well as bleeding, what are the local symptoms of oestrogen deficiency?
What investigations should be done in all women with post-menopausal bleeding?
Ultrasound examination of pelvis
Hysteroscopic examination of uterine cavity
What should the endometrial thickness be in post-menopausal women?
Less than 5mm