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IUD Might Ease Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, Study Suggests
Date:1/9/2013

eive either the IUD or standard medical care. They assessed improvement using a patient-reported score on a scale designed to measure severity of symptoms. The scale goes from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating more severe symptoms. The researchers also asked about quality of life and sexual activity, and noted whether a woman needed surgery for heavy periods.

Women in the IUD group reported much greater improvement -- 32.7 points on the symptom scale versus 21.4 points in the standard treatment group. They also reported greater improvements in quality of life.

There was no difference in the rates of surgery or sexual activity between the two groups.

More women were still using the intrauterine system after two years than were still taking standard medical treatments -- 64 percent compared to 38 percent.

Gupta said the main reason she believes the IUD group was more successful at reducing symptoms is that there is "100 percent compliance with treatment as there is a continuous drug treatment effect." Women taking medications may forget to take them sometimes.

Serious side effects were similar between the groups. Gupta said the main side effect from the intrauterine system is irregular periods for up to six months.

Another expert said the findings show promise for women bothered by heavy bleeding.

"This study really adds to the evidence that shows how useful this intrauterine system is for heavy menstrual bleeding," said Dr. Eve Espey, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque.

Getting an intrauterine system generally just requires one office visit, Espey said. Insertion of the device may be mildly uncomfortable for some women, she said.

For women who may be hesitant to use an IUD because of pelvic infections linked to an early version called the Dalkon Shield, Gupta said that as long as women are screened for sexually transmitted diseases b
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