• ethnic minority;
  • general practice;
  • gynaecology hysterectomy;
  • menorrhagia;
  • nursing;
  • qualitative research;
  • South Asian

Menorrhagia: women’s perceptions of this condition and its treatment

This paper reports a qualitative study of women’s perceptions and experience of menorrhagia. Having obtained ethics committee approval, and informed written consent, interviews were conducted with 30 women who reported that they were suffering from menorrhagia. The sample included 13 women of South Asian descent. Some of those interviewed did not want medical treatment for menorrhagia. Other women were quite satisfied with the treatment they received when they consulted their doctors. However, it appears that some general practitioners failed to recognize women’s need for treatment and were slow to comply with requests for referral to a gynaecologist. Although in the past there has been justifiable concern about women who undergo unnecessary treatment for perceived menorrhagia, this study suggests that health care professionals should be aware that some women may experience menorrhagia for long periods of time without receiving effective health care. It is possible that those who volunteered for the study were those most likely to have experienced problems with their treatment. However, the results of this study have implications for nurses, who may be in a position to give help and advice to women who want information about possible alternative treatments and sources of help for menorrhagia.