New clinical standards will benefit many women
The launch of a national standard of care for women experiencing heavy menstrual breeding is a much-needed development for the many women who struggle with this condition, the Consumers Health Forum said.
“This step by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is welcome recognition of the needs of women whose lives are disrupted by this condition which so often persists without proper attention or treatment,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.
“When it is considered that an estimated one in four women of reproductive age endure heavy bleeding and that there are huge variations in the rate of treatments such as hysterectomies and endometrial ablations around Australia, the development of national guidelines is much-needed.
“The Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard announced by the commission today states that most women with this condition can be effectively cared for by their GP.
Referral to a specialist may be warranted in some cases where the patient has uterine fibroids or polyps, or more rarely suspected cancer.
“The announcement underlines the importance of health literacy in supporting patients to make the right health care decisions. The eight-point standard lists key steps including informed choice and shared decision-making. With a 6.6 times differential in the rate of hysterectomies around Australia, it is likely that with good clinical care many women can avoid having to have surgery to bring relief,” Ms Wells said.