Semin Reprod Med 2011; 29(5): 383-390
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1287662
© Thieme Medical Publishers

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

Ian S. Fraser1 , Hilary O.D Critchley2 , Michael Broder3 , Malcolm G. Munro4
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia
  • 2MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The University of Edinburgh, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 3Partnership for Health Analytic Research, LLC, Beverly Hills, California
  • 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
07 November 2011 (online)


Over the past 5 years there has been a major international discussion aimed at reaching agreement on the use of well-defined terminologies to describe the normal limits and range of abnormalities related to patterns of uterine bleeding. This article builds on concepts previously presented, which include the abandonment of long-used, ill-defined, and confusing English-language terms of Latin and Greek origin, such as menorrhagia and metrorrhagia. The term dysfunctional uterine bleeding should also be discarded. Alternative terms and concepts have been proposed and defined. The terminologies and definitions described here have been comprehensively reviewed and have received wide acceptance as a basis both for routine clinical practice and for comparative research studies. It is anticipated that these terminologies and definitions will be reviewed again on a regular basis through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Menstrual Disorders Working Group.


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Ian S Fraser, M.D. 

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia