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Dilation and curettage for heavy menstrual bleeding

Some women over 40 bleed very much when they have their periods. Dilation and curettage is a medical intervention of the womb. The womb is the part of a woman’s body where the baby grows. In this intervention, the opening of the womb is widened and the tissue that lines it is scraped out.

Does it work?

Research shows that this intervention is not effective in diagnosing and treating heavy menstrual bleeding. To investigate heavy periods, doctors can use other things, like ultrasounds and taking samples of this tissue that lines the womb.

To treat heavy periods, doctors can use medication or small plastic devices that are inserted into the womb (intrauterine systems).

How can I be referred?

As the intervention is ineffective, it is not routinely commissioned by the NHS. This means that it won’t be routinely funded.

However, if your Doctor thinks that you may benefit from this intervention, they can apply to the Individual Funding Request (IFR) panel. The IFR panel will then assess the application and make a decision about your treatment.

The IFR panel meets weekly and aims to consider cases within 14days. The panel’s decision will be communicated to you by letter if you are an adult or by letter to your GP if you are the guardian of a child applying for funding.

If your IFR application is rejected (meaning that your surgery will not be funded by the NHS), then you or your GP has the right to appeal to the IFR panel against this decision within 90days. The panel is independent to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).