Objectives: To assess which treatment modality has a better outcome: the use of an intrauterine contraceptive device or the Foley catheter balloon, for the adjunctive treatment of intrauterine adhesion (IUA) in patients presenting with infertility.
Methods: In a 4-year initial period, patients with intrauterine adhesion were treated with the insertion of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) after adhesiolysis. In the next 4 years, a pediatric Foley catheter balloon was used after adhesiolysis instead of the IUCD. The postoperative treatment was the same throughout the 8 years. While the IUCD was removed after three consecutive withdrawal vaginal bleedings, the Foley catheter was removed after 10 days. Hysterosalpingography was repeated in all patients after the third withdrawal vaginal bleeding, and the procedure was repeated if the intrauterine adhesion still persisted. The chi2-test was used for analysis.
Results: There were 51 cases of IUA treated with the IUCD and 59 cases treated with the Foley catheter balloon. In the Foley catheter group, 81.4% of the patients had restoration of normal menstruation compared with 62.7% in the IUCD group (P<0.05). Persistent posttreatment amenorrhea and hypomenorrhea occurred less frequently in the Foley catheter group (18.6%) than in the IUCD group (37.3%) (P<0.03), and the conception rate in the catheter group was 33.9% compared with 22.5% in the IUCD group. The need for repeated treatment was also significantly less in the Foley catheter group.
Conclusion: The Foley Catheter is a safer and more effective adjunctive method of treatment of IUA compared with the IUCD.