Clinical practice guideline for abnormal uterine bleeding: hysterectomy versus alternative therapy

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2012 Jan-Feb;19(1):81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Nov 11.


Study objective: To develop recommendations in selecting treatments for abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).

Design: Clinical practice guidelines.

Setting: Randomized clinical trials compared bleeding, quality of life, pain, sexual health, satisfaction, the need for subsequent surgery, and adverse events between hysterectomy and less-invasive treatment options.

Patients: Women with AUB, predominantly from ovulatory disorders and endometrial causes.

Interventions: On the basis of findings from a systematic review, clinical practice guidelines were developed. Rating the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations followed the Grades for Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation system.

Measurements and main results: This paper identified few high-quality studies that directly compared uterus-preserving treatments (endometrial ablation, levonorgestrel intrauterine system and systemically administered medications) with hysterectomy. The evidence from these randomized clinical trials demonstrated that there are trade-offs between hysterectomy and uterus-preserving treatments in terms of efficacy and adverse events.

Conclusion: Selecting an appropriate treatment for AUB requires identifying a woman's most burdensome symptoms and incorporating her values and preferences when weighing the relative benefits and harms of hysterectomy versus other treatment options.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Practice Guideline
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Endometrial Ablation Techniques*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy*
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated*
  • Levonorgestrel / therapeutic use*
  • Ovarian Diseases / complications
  • Patient Preference
  • Uterine Diseases / complications
  • Uterine Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Uterine Hemorrhage / therapy*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel