Comparison of levonorgestrel intrauterine system versus hysterectomy on efficacy and quality of life in patients with adenomyosis

Fertil Steril. 2011 Feb;95(2):497-502. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.10.009. Epub 2010 Nov 12.


Objective: To compare the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) with hysterectomy in patients with adenomyosis and to study the effects of both treatments on quality of life (QOL).

Design: Prospective randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Women's health teaching and research hospital.

Patient(s): Eighty-six patients (43 patients for each group) were enrolled, but only 75 women continued the study.

Intervention(s): Women interpreted as having adenomyosis on transvaginal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging were assigned to receive either LNG-IUS or hysterectomy.

Main outcome measure(s): Clinical measures of menstrual bleeding as number of used pads/day during menstruation, hemoglobin levels, and health-related QOL variables were assessed. Each woman was followed up for 1 year after treatment.

Result(s): LNG-IUS increased the hemoglobin levels at the sixth month and first year of the treatment to the comparable levels with hysterectomy. When pretreatment and post-treatment QOL scores of groups were compared, three of the five mean domain scores (physical, environmental, environmental-TR) were increased in patients treated with hysterectomy, while in patients managed with LNG-IUS, all five mean domain scores were increased.

Conclusion(s): It seems that LNG-IUS demonstrates significant and comparable improvements in hemoglobin levels to hysterectomy in treating adenomyosis-associated menorrhagia during the first year. Although both treatments lead to improvements in health-related QOL, LNG-IUS seems to have superior effects on psychological and social life. It may be a promising alternative therapy to hysterectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy*
  • Endometriosis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy*
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated*
  • Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Menorrhagia / drug therapy
  • Menorrhagia / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Diseases / surgery*


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel