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Bleeding changes after levonorgestrel 52-mg intrauterine system insertion for contraception in women with self-reported heavy menstrual bleeding.



The levonorgestrel 52-mg intrauterine system has proven efficacy for heavy menstrual bleeding treatment in clinical trials, but few data exist to demonstrate how rapidly the effects occur and the effects in women with self-reported heavy bleeding, as seen commonly in clinical practice.


Evaluate changes in bleeding patterns in women with self-reported heavy menstrual bleeding before levonorgestrel 52-mg intrauterine system insertion.

Study design

A total of 1714 women aged 16-45 years old received a levonorgestrel 52-mg intrauterine system in a multicenter trial evaluating contraceptive efficacy and safety for up to 10 years. At screening, participants described their baseline menstrual bleeding patterns for the previous 3 months. Participants completed daily diaries with subjective evaluation of bleeding information for the first 2 years. For this analysis, we included women with at least 1 complete 28-day cycle of intrauterine system use and excluded women using a hormonal or copper intrauterine contraception in the month prior to study enrollment. We evaluated changes in menstrual bleeding and discontinuation for bleeding complaints per 28-day cycle over 26 cycles (2 years) in women who self-reported their baseline pattern as heavy. We also compared rates of amenorrhea, defined as no bleeding or spotting, within the entire study population in women with subjective heavy menstrual bleeding at baseline compared with those who did not complain of heavy menstrual bleeding.


Of the 1513 women in this analysis, 150 (9.9%) reported baseline heavy menstrual bleeding. The majority of women reported no longer experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding by the end of cycle 1 (112/150, 74.7%) with even greater rates by cycle 2 (124/148, 83.8%). At the end of cycles 6, 13, and 26, 129 of 140 (92.1%; 95% confidence interval, 87.7%-96.6%), 114 of 123 (92.7%; 95% confidence interval, 88.1%-97.3%), and 100 of 103 (97.1%; 95% confidence interval, 93.8%-100%) women reported no heavy menstrual bleeding, respectively. After cycles 13 and 26, 63 of 123 (51.2%; 95% confidence interval, 42.4%-60.1%) and 66 of 103 (64.1%; 95% confidence interval, 54.8%-73.3%), respectively, reported their bleeding as amenorrhea or spotting only. A lower proportion of women with baseline self-reported heavy menstrual bleeding reported amenorrhea as compared with women in the overall study cohort without heavy menstrual bleeding at the end of 6 cycles (319 [25.5%] vs 21 [15.0%], P=.005) and 13 cycles (382 [34.4%] vs 26 [21.1%], P=.003); differences were not significant after 19 cycles (367 [37.2%] vs 36 [31.0%], P=.022) and 26 cycles (383 [43.5%] vs 38 [36.9%], P=.21). Only 4 (2.7%) women with baseline heavy menstrual bleeding discontinued for bleeding complaints (2 for heavy menstrual bleeding and 2 for irregular bleeding), all within the first year.


Most women who self-report heavy menstrual bleeding experience significant improvement quickly after levonorgestrel 52-mg intrauterine system insertion. Discontinuation for bleeding complaints among women with baseline heavy menstrual bleeding is very low.

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