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Jane Reavey is a senior trainee in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Thames Valley deanery. Her MD was carried out at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh and investigated markers of hypoxia in the human endometrium using MRI and laboratory techniques (Supervisors: Prof Hilary Critchley, Dr Jacqueline Maybin and Dr Lucy Kershaw). She undertook pre-clinical medicine at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge and completed her clinical degree at New College, Oxford.

Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) affects up to 30% of pre-menopausal women. However, the causes of this debilitating condition remain undefined. To improve treatments, better understanding of menstrual physiology and pathology is required.

There is growing evidence that hypoxia is present in the endometrium at menstruation and drives endometrial repair. Women with HMB may have a defective hypoxic response at menstruation. Until recently, detection of menstrual hypoxia in vivo remained elusive. The impact of obesity on menstrual blood loss was also unknown.
This seminar will present recently published in vivo data supporting the presence of endometrial hypoxia at menses. These non-invasive MRI techniques have the potential to diagnose aberrant hypoxia at menstruation, facilitating personalised treatment strategies for HMB. Our research also indicated that obesity is associated with increased menstrual blood loss that may be due to delayed endometrial repair.