How is a bleeding disorder etiology of menorrhagia diagnosed?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: Julia A Shaw, MD, MBA, FACOG; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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An international expert panel including obstetrician/gynecologists and hematologists has issued guidelines to assist physicians in better recognizing bleeding disorders, such as von Willebrand disease, as a cause of menorrhagia and postpartum hemorrhage and to provide disease-specific therapy for the bleeding disorder. [22]  Historically, a lack of awareness of underlying bleeding disorders has led to underdiagnosis in women with abnormal reproductive tract bleeding.

The panel provided expert consensus recommendations on how to identify, confirm, and manage a bleeding disorder. An underlying bleeding disorder should be considered when a patient has any of the following:

  • Menorrhagia since menarche

  • Family history of bleeding disorders

  • Personal history of 1 or more of the following: (1) Notable bruising without known injury; (2) bleeding of oral cavity or gastrointestinal tract without obvious lesion; and/or (3) epistaxis greater than 10 minutes duration (possibly necessitating packing or cautery)

If a bleeding disorder is suspected, consultation with a hematologist is suggested.

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