The health problems faced by men and women differ because of important biological and anatomical differences. Many of these differences are explained, in one way or another, by the reproductive system. The January 2019 issue of Guidelines in Practice features three topics that bear particular relevance to women’s health; heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and breast pain. 

Dr Rachel Brown explores the latest recommendations from NICE on the assessment and management of HMB. Diagnosis of HMB should be based on the woman’s symptoms and the impact they have on her quality of life, rather than a quantified measure of blood loss. 

Dr Brown discusses the recent advances in diagnostic techniques, which can help to identify or exclude causes such as adenomyosis, fibroids, or endometriosis. There are now more treatment options available and the guideline emphasises that the woman’s preferences should be taken into account when agreeing treatment options. GPs also need to be aware of the restrictions around prescribing ulipristal acetate and the new requirements for monitoring for possible liver side-effects before, during, and after treatment. 

In this month’s View from the ground, Dr Heather Ryan writes about the challenges she faced when she made the bold move from GP training straight to GP partnership. 

Lastly, I just wanted to give you a quick update on this year’s Guidelines Live. The 2-day event will take place on 19–20 November 2019 at Olympia Conference Centre, London. There will be sessions on a range of clinical areas, all delivered by experts, to keep you up to date with new and updated clinical guidance and best practice. You can find out more and pre-register for a place at: Guidelines.co.uk/live19