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Clinical effects of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device in patients with adenomyosis.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term clinical effects of a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) on adenomyosis.

STUDY DESIGN: A LNG-IUD was inserted into 47 patients who were diagnosed with adenomyosis. Uterine volume, uterine artery blood flow, pictorial blood loss assessment chart (PBAC) scores, and the degree of dysmenorrhea were evaluated before and 36 months after insertion of the LNG-IUD.

RESULTS: Pain scores and PBAC scores dropped dramatically in 6 months and showed significant decrease after 36 months. A significant decrease in mean uterine volume was noted 12 months (156.85 +/- 49.79 mL to 118.64 +/- 41.36 mL; P < .001) and 24 months (128.84 +/- 48.70 mL; P < .001) after LNG-IUD insertion, but no significant differences were noted at 36 months. The mean pulsatility indices of both uterine arteries increased significantly 12 months after insertion (P = .002 for right; P = .011 for left) and decreased after 24 months without significance. Uterine volume and uterine blood flow were negatively correlated (Pearson's correlation, P < .05). Significant increase of uterine volume, pain scores, and PBAC scores were noted at 36 months compared with 12 months after insertion (P = .034, .021, and .001, respectively).

CONCLUSION: For patients with clinical diagnosis of adenomyosis, the LNG-IUD is effective for the reduction of uterine volume with improvement of vascularity and relief of symptoms. However, the efficacy of LNG-IUD on uterine volume may begin to decrease 2 years after insertion.

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