Background: The levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG‐IUS) provides effective contraception and treatment for menorrhagia and is used to prevent endometrial hyperplasia (EH) in women taking unopposed oestrogens.
Aims: The aim of this study was to assess whether the LNG‐IUS was also a safe and effective treatment for EH and to conduct a systematic review of the literature.
Methods: A retrospective record review was undertaken in a private gynaecology practice in Brisbane, Australia, and included all women with EH treated with hysterectomy, oral progestins or LNG‐IUS between January 2004 and April 2007. Histopathological findings from hysterectomy specimens or endometrial biopsies were used to calculate rates of regression of the EH.
Results: Twenty‐one women elected to have a hysterectomy and seven of those (33%) had no persisting hyperplasia at surgery. Twenty‐six women had a LNG‐IUS inserted at initial hysteroscopy dilatation and curettage or shortly afterwards; seven of those elected to proceed to hysterectomy when their diagnosis was known. Among ten women who used oral progestin treatment, 90% showed initial regression; two with recurrent EH were subsequently treated successfully with LNG‐IUS. All 21 women (100%), including one with atypia, treated with LNG‐IUS for more than seven weeks had normal endometrial histology on subsequent assessment. No women developed endometrial cancer. Pooled analysis of the published literature gave a 96% regression rate for non‐atypical EH treated with LNG‐IUS.
Conclusions: These data contribute further evidence that LNG‐IUS is a safe and effective method for treating non‐atypical EH. Whether LNG‐IUS could provide a safe and cost‐effective alternative to hysterectomy for atypical EH warrants further examination.