Continuous versus cyclic oral contraceptives for the treatment of endometriosis: a systematic review

Konstantinos A. Zorbas, Konstantinos P. Economopoulos, Nikos F. Vlahos

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose: Recurrence of endometriosis after conservative surgery has been observed in 40–50 % of patients within the first 5 years. A variety of regimens such as combined oral contraceptives, GnRH agonists, danazol, and progestins have been used postoperatively to reduce recurrence rates. Oral contraceptives (oCP) have been used either in a cyclic or in a continuous (no pill-free interval) fashion. The purpose of this article was to summarize the existing evidence on the efficacy and patient compliance for the use of oCP in a continuous versus cyclic fashion following conservative surgery for endometriosis. Methods: A systematic search of Medline identified four eligible studies. Studies were considered eligible, if they have evaluated oCP therapy, either in a cyclic or continuous regimen, after conservative surgery for endometriosis. Specifically, studies (1) reporting on women with endometriosis who were treated postoperatively with both continuous oCP and cyclic oCP, (2) written in English, (3) with minimum 6 months duration of medical treatment, and (4) with minimum 12 months duration of follow-up were considered eligible for our systematic review. Outcome measures of these eligible studies were tabulated and then analyzed cumulatively. A purely descriptive approach was adopted concerning all variables. Results: Postoperative use of continuous oCP was associated with a reduction in the recurrence rate of dysmenorrhea, delay in the presentation of dysmenorrhea, reduction in nonspecific pelvic pain, and reduction in the recurrence rate for endometrioma. Conclusions: Use of oCP in a continuous fashion following conservative surgery for endometriosis is more beneficial to cyclic use.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)37-43
    Number of pages7
    JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
    Volume292
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 18 2015

    Keywords

    • Continuous
    • Cyclic
    • Dysmenorrhea
    • Endometriosis
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Pelvic pain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Continuous versus cyclic oral contraceptives for the treatment of endometriosis: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this