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Many Women Don't Seek Help for Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. women with excessive menstrual bleeding -- called menorrhagia -- don''t seek treatment, according to a survey released this week by the National Women''s Health Resource Center (NWHRC).

The condition affects about 10 million American women each year. It can cause fatigue and anemia and restrict a woman''s personal and professional activities.

The survey of 653 women ages 35 to 49 who experience menorrhagia found that 58 percent have not discussed their condition with a health-care provider, even though menorrhagia greatly affects their lives and is easily treated.

Among the women who have sought treatment, 82 percent had to bring up the topic with their health-care provider, and 62 percent waited more than a year to do so, the survey found.

The survey was funded by an unrestricted educational grant from the Cytyc Corporation, which markets NovaSure, a medical device used to treat menorrhagia.

"Given the dramatic impact this condition has on a woman''s daily life, it is unfortunate that the majority of women we surveyed accepted this monthly burden as something they just have to live with, when, in fact, that is not the case at all," Amy Niles, NWHRC president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

"This condition restricts women in the most personal ways, from their sexual activity to spending quality time with their families and friends," Niles said.

"Treatment for this condition is broadly available. What''s critical is that women and their health-care provider discuss menstruation as part of a routine physical exam. Beginning a dialogue about this vastly under-diagnosed condition and available treatment options -- both between a woman and her doctor and among national health-care leaders -- is the first step toward helping women live healthier more enjoyable lives," Niles said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about menstrual problems.

SOURCE: National Women''s Health Resource Center, news release, Nov. 15, 2005

Last Updated: Nov. 16, 2005