The FIGO Recommendations on Terminologies and Definitions for Normal and Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Ian S. Fraser, M.D.; Hilary O.D. Critchley, M.D.; Michael Broder, M.D.; Malcolm G. Munro, M.D.


Semin Reprod Med. 2011;29(5):383-390. 

In This Article

Definitions of Normal Menstruation, Menstrual Cycle, and Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Normal menstruation and the normal menstrual cycle should be defined according to the following parameters (Table 5): (1) regularity of menses, (2) frequency of menses, (3) heaviness of menstrual flow, and (4) duration of menstrual flow.

It is recommended that these parameters be defined on the basis of published population data,[2,3,21,25,26] using medians and confidence intervals. Anything outside these limits should be regarded as AUB. Different population studies provide different data, and little is really known about cultural, ethnic, or geographic variations. Also, there is an apparent large variation within the normal population in the regularity and frequency of menstrual periods when 5th to 95th centiles are used, and this may need to be considered in situations where minor irregularities may gain greater importance, such as infertility.


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