Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (Mirena) and Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depoprovera) as long-term maintenance therapy for patients with moderate and severe endometriosis: a randomised controlled trial

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2010 Jun;50(3):273-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2010.01152.x.


Background: Progestogen therapy has been found to be useful in controlling endometriosis. For patients after conservative surgery, long-term medical maintenance therapy should be sought to prevent recurrence and control symptoms. Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) may be a useful form of prolonged progestogen therapy for endometriosis.

Aims: To evaluate and compare the efficacy and safety of LNG-IUS to depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) for patients with moderate or severe endometriosis following conservative surgery, in terms of symptoms control, recurrence prevention and patients' acceptance.

Methods: A total of 30 patients after conservative surgery for endometriosis underwent randomisation. Of these patients, 15 received LNG-IUS and 15 had three-monthly depot MPA for three years. Their symptom control, recurrence, compliance and change in bone mineral density (BMD) were compared. The data were analysed using student's t-test and chi-square test.

Results: Symptoms and recurrence were controlled by both therapies. The compliance was better in LNG-IUS Group with 13 patients staying on their therapy versus seven patients in Depot MPA Group. LNG-IUS users had a significantly better change in BMD (+0.023, +0.071 g/cm(2)) than Depot MPA users (-0.030, -0.017 g/cm(2)) in both hip and lumbar regions.

Conclusions: Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system was effective in symptom control and prevention of recurrence. LNG-IUS users showed a better compliance. After three years, bone gain was noted with LNG-IUS, but bone loss with depot MPA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy*
  • Endometriosis / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levonorgestrel / therapeutic use*
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / therapeutic use*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate