The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system is associated with a reduction in dysmenorrhoea and dyspareunia, a decrease in CA 125 levels, and an increase in quality of life in women with suspected endometriosis.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUS) in the symptomatic relief of pain in women with endometriosis and additionally, to assess the changes in women's life quality and serum cancer antigen (CA) 125 levels.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

All women who had an LNG-IUS inserted for the treatment of dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain or both for more than six months over a two-year period were included in the study. Each woman was asked to complete questionnaires of the Short Form-36 and visual analogue scales (VAS) in the first visit and the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth months after the LNG-IUS insertion. CA 125 levels were measured at each visit.

RESULTS

Forty-five women were included in the study. At the end of 12 months, mean dysmenorrhoea VAS score decreased from 6.13 to 2.88, mean dsyspareunia VAS score from 6.04 to 2.61 and CA 125 level from 50.67 to 22.45. Endometriomas reduced in size in six women (mean size decreased from 31 to 20 mm) and disappeared in three.

CONCLUSIONS

Several favourable outcomes were found following LNG-IUS insertion: (i) dyspareunia and dysmenorrhoea were clearly reduced; (ii) the size of endometriomas were decreased; (iii) CA 125 levels significantly decreased; (iv) a few women experienced the typical systemic adverse effects of progestogens; however, LNG-IUS-related adverse events were generally tolerable and the discontinuation rate was as low as 6.66% (3/45).

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