Current treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding

Marlies Y. Bongers*, Ben W.J. Mol, Hans A.M. Brölmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We performed a review of the treatment modalities for dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Methods: Dysfunctional uterine bleeding can be treated medically or surgically. Medical treatment consists of anti-fibrinolytic tranexamic acid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the combined contraception pill, progestogen, danazol, or analogues of gonadotrophin releasing hormone. The levonorgestrel releasing intra uterine device is developed for contraception, but is also effective in the treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Surgical treatment includes endometrial ablation of the first and second-generation, and hysterectomy. This review contains current available evidence on the effectiveness of these therapies. Results: Antifibrinolytic tranexamic acid is the most effective medical therapy to treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In general medical therapy is not as effective as endometrial resection in terms of patient satisfaction and health related quality of life. The levonorgestrel releasing intra uterine device is an effective treatment for dysfunctional uterine bleeding. No difference in quality of life was observed in patients treated with a levonorgestrel releasing intra uterine device as compared to hysterectomy. Ablation techniques of the first generation are effective and safe when used by trained surgeons, but have a learning curve. Ablation techniques of the second generation are effective, but long-term follow-up data are not available. Similarly, there are no large randomised controlled trials comparing the levonorgestrel releasing intra uterine device to first and second-generation ablation techniques. Hysterectomy, the traditional standard of care, has a relatively high complication rate, but it generates a high satisfaction rate and good health related quality of life scores. Conclusion: Since none of the treatments for dysfunctional bleeding is superior to one of the others, and since all treatments have their advantages and disadvantages, counselling of patients with dysfunctional bleeding should incorporate medical approach, levonorgestrel releasing IUD, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-174
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2004


  • Bleeding
  • Dysfunctional uterine
  • Levonorgestrel


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