Efficacy of misoprostol before diagnostic hysteroscopy in postmenopausal women: a randomized clinical trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate pain and determine the efficacy of misoprostol, compared with placebo, for postmenopausal women before diagnostic hysteroscopy.

Methods:

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial included 158 postmenopausal women who received either 200 μg of misoprostol or placebo through the vaginal route before diagnostic hysteroscopy (79 women/group). The primary outcome was pain assessment (presence and intensity) during the four steps of hysteroscopy: cervical grasping with a Pozzi tenaculum forceps immediately before hysteroscopy, during hysteroscopy, during performance of the endometrial biopsy, and postprocedure. The secondary outcomes were duration of the procedure, need for additional cervical dilatation, complications, and adverse effects.

Results:

Mean ages of the women were 62 ± 8.2 years and 60 ± 7.3 years in the misoprostol and placebo groups, respectively. Abnormal bleeding (misoprostol group, 45.6%; placebo, 43%) and endometrial thickening (54.4% in the misoprostol group and 57% in the placebo group) were the most common indications for the examination in both groups (P = 0.49). There was no significant difference between groups in the pain intensity of the four steps of the procedure. The duration of hysteroscopy was similar in both groups (misoprostol group, 2.5 ± 2.7 minutes; placebo, 2.1 ± 1.6 minutes; P = 0.43). Additional cervical dilatation was needed in 11 women in the misoprostol group versus 9 in the placebo group (P = 0.63). In both groups, there was no significant difference in terms of complications. Adverse effects were reported by 25.3% of women using misoprostol (vaginal bleeding, 11.3%; cramping, 12.6%; diarrhea, 2.5%; 1 woman reported both vaginal bleeding and cramping). In the placebo group, only 2.5% of women developed adverse effects (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion:

Misoprostol does not reduce pain intensity, the duration of the procedure, or need for additional cervical dilatation, and causes more adverse effects when used in postmenopausal women before diagnostic hysteroscopy.

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