Munson Health
 
Diagnosis of Menstrual Disorders

Back to Document

by Scholten A
 

Menorrhagia (Heavy Bleeding)

Initial Evaluation

You will be asked about:
  • Your family and medical history
  • Your lifestyle, eating, and exercise habits
  • Stress
  • Changes in body weight
  • Your menstrual periods
  • Birth control
Your doctor will also do a physical exam, including a pelvic exam.

Tests

You may have one or more of the following tests:

Amenorrhea (Lack of Menstruation)

It may be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the cause of your amenorrhea. Evaluation usually includes the following:
Initial Evaluation
You will be asked about:
  • Your family and medical history
  • Your lifestyle, eating, and exercise habits
  • Stress
  • Changes in body weight
  • Your menstrual periods
  • Birth control
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam, including a pelvic exam.
Tests
The most common cause of secondary amenorrhea is pregnancy. If your menstrual period is at least 2-3 weeks overdue and you are sexually active, the first consideration is pregnancy.
Your doctor may recommend testing your blood for hormone levels:
  • Androgen excess
  • Estrogen deficiency
  • Problems with the endocrine system (hormone production)
  • Prolactin in the blood
  • Thyroid hormone

Further Testing

Other tests that may be done include:
  • Imaging of the brain to evaluate the pituitary gland—Sometimes a small, noncancerous growth can produce excess hormones that interfere with the normal menstrual cycle.
  • Ultrasound scans of your abdomen and pelvis
  • Chromosome studies
 

References


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Premenstrual syndrome. ACOG Practice Bulletin. 2000.


Menstruation and the menstrual cycle fact sheet. Womens Health.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.cfm. Updated October 21, 2009. Accessed August 20, 2012.

 

Revision Information