Your GP Visit

Many women hesitate to see their GPs about their periods, but if heavy bleeding dictates your life, it’s time to make an appointment. Heavy periods (menorrhagia) are a recognised medical condition for which treatment is available.

What can you expect?

What can you expect?

  • What can you expect?
    Questions from the doctor so that he/she can assess your symptoms
  • What can you expect?
    An internal examination
  • What can you expect?
    Agreement on next steps

As well as asking general questions about your period and how it affects you, your doctor may perform, or request, several tests, including:

  • A physical exam, which may include an internal exam.
  • A smear test.
  • A blood test to check for iron deficiency.
  • An ultrasound.
  • Check your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Agreement on the next steps regarding possible treatment. [1]

Before your appointment, you may wish to download our period diary and questionnaire. We also recommend reading the treatment comparison chart, which outlines the most common treatment options available in the UK. These tools can help you feel in control of the conversation with your GP. They can help you evidence and discuss how severe your problem is and to what extent your heavy periods affect your life. This will also provide insight to determine what treatment exists that applies to you – allowing you to discuss your options in greater detail with your doctor.

However, be prepared to walk out of your first appointment without a set treatment plan. Your doctor will likely need more information before talking through which treatment options will be suitable for you. You may be invited to participate in a clinical test, depending on your symptoms, and expect to await the results before looking into your choice(s) of treatment.

Your doctor should discuss the next step in the process with you.

Consider what you want to speak about with your doctor in advance. Track your symptoms to give you detailed evidence of cycle length, how heavy each period is, the pain scale and the overall impact on your life. Then, the doctor or healthcare professional should tell you what to expect next – (depending on the displaying symptoms).

Be prepared for a treatment option to fail. There are many causes of heavy menstrual bleeding, and not all tests are conclusive. The wrong test could have been performed for your underlying cause showing little to no issues. Be prepared to be recalled or recall yourself to the doctors for further tests. If a treatment isn’t working for you, do not settle – go back to your GP to ask for further tests or ask to see a specialist.


[1] – Heavy periods (2021) nidirect. Available at:,check%20iron%20deficiency%20anaemia. (Accessed: 18 May 2023).

Before your appointment

Before you see your GP, it’s always wise to be prepared. This ensures you get the most out of your visit, have your questions answered, and avoid leaving with regrets.

  • See your regular GP: Getting the conversation started can be difficult, so it makes sense to speak to a GP you’re comfortable with. If your doctor then refers you to a specialist, any follow-up reports they create will be sent to the doctor that referred you. If you don’t have a regular GP, you should ask to see the same doctor for the initial consultation and the follow-up.
  • Plan ahead: It is best to plan your visit for a date when you don’t have your period. However, if your period is causing you pain and distress, you should seek help immediately. Completing our period diary for 2-3 months before your appointment gives you a written reference of any symptoms you experience throughout your cycle, making them easier to talk about.
  • Allow enough time: When booking your appointment, it is best to use that time specifically to discuss your heavy periods. If you have other health issues you wish to discuss, consider making a double appointment. This gives your GP enough time to discuss your symptoms and answer any questions you might have.
  • Make sure you write down any key questions: If you have any queries about your menstrual cycle experience or the treatments available, now is the time to ask the questions. Writing them down beforehand is great for ensuring you remember everything during the appointment time, and not when you’ve left the doctor’s surgery!
  • Be prepared on the day: Your GP will likely ask you several questions to learn more about your symptoms and experiences, so it is handy to have answers ready. Our period questionnaire will help you to feel prepared on the day, and using this tool along with the period diary mentioned above, can help your doctor to easily see any trends or patterns and better understand the impact that your period is having on your life.

During your appointment

Start by telling your doctor about your symptoms and concerns. It is important to be clear about the impact your heavy periods are having on your life – whether it’s physical or mental. Your doctor will have heard it all before, so there’s no need to be embarrassed about sharing information about your periods.

Ask about the possible treatment options. You can ask them to talk you through each option, to understand better what treatment pathway would be suitable for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you are satisfied you have all the information you need.

Ask to be referred to a specialist.

Especially if this isn’t the first time you have been to see your doctor, or if you are not happy with the diagnosis or treatment offered to you. Ask to be referred to a specialist such as a gynaecology doctor or nurse. You do not need to settle for a treatment option you do not believe is right.

Treating heavy periods

Treating heavy periods

There are a range of potential solutions for your heavy periods. Your GP will be able to discuss these with you.

View possible treatments
* Stock Photo. Posed by model


1 IN 5 WOMEN SUFFER WITH HEAVY PERIODS About 20% of women suffer from heavy periods (menorrhagia). It’s not always possible to identify a cause and the symptoms vary too. If heavy periods are taking over your life, it’s time to do something about it. Because you can.

Read More