Treatment of menorrhagia associated with oral anticoagulation: efficacy and safety of the levonorgestrel releasing intrauterine device (Mirena coil)

Lupus. 2006;15(12):877-80. doi: 10.1177/0961203306071706.


Menorrhagia is common in women receiving oral anticoagulation. In healthy women, reductions of up to 90% of menstrual loss have been described with the levonorgestrel releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUS). However there is no data about the use of LNG-IUS in women receiving oral anticoagulation and so we assessed the efficacy and safety of LNG-IUS in this setting. Patients with menorrhagia who used LNG-IUS and warfarin were contacted by post and asked to complete a questionnaire assessing the extent and duration of menstrual bleeding, quality of life and treatment satisfaction. The questionnaire was sent to 23 patients and returned by 17. The amount of bleeding was reduced with the LNG-IUS in 10 (58.8%) women; amenorrhea occurred in four (23.5%), no change in blood loss in one (5.9%) and greater blood loss in two (11.8%) patients. The number of sanitary pads used was less in 12 (70.6%) patients; same in one (5.9%) patient, more in two (11.8%) patients and two (11.8%) did not remember. Five patients (29.4%) had shorter duration of bleeding, four (23.5%) had amenorrhoea, four (23.5%) had longer periods and four (23.5%) had same duration by subjective assessment. Eight (47.1%) patients felt very satisfied, four (23.5%) felt satisfied, two (11.8%) felt dissatisfied with the treatment, one felt very dissatisfied (5.9%) and two (11.8%) did not respond to the question. This small study suggests LNG-IUS is effective in reducing the duration and amount of menstrual bleeding in women with menorrhagia associated with oral anticoagulation. We feel the use of LNG-IUS is a major advance in reducing menorrhagia in women on oral anticoagulation as the previous alternative--hysterectomy--is associated with an increased risk of thrombosis and bleeding.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices
  • Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Levonorgestrel / adverse effects
  • Menorrhagia / chemically induced*
  • Menorrhagia / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thrombosis / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage
  • Warfarin / adverse effects*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Warfarin
  • Levonorgestrel