Interventions commonly available during pandemics for heavy menstrual bleeding: an overview of Cochrane Reviews

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Abstract

Background: Within the context of heavy menstrual bleeding, pandemics impact upon women's assessment and treatment by healthcare providers. Objectives: To summarise the evidence from Cochrane Reviews evaluating interventions for heavy menstrual bleeding that are commonly available during pandemics. Methods: We sought published Cochrane Reviews, evaluating interventions that can continue during pandemics for women with heavy menstrual bleeding with no known underlying cause. We identified Cochrane Reviews by searching the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in June 2020. The primary outcome was menstrual bleeding. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, patient satisfaction, side effects, and serious adverse events. We undertook the selection of systematic reviews, data extraction, and quality assessment in duplicate. We resolved any disagreements by discussion. We assessed review quality using the Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) 2 tool, and the certainty of the evidence for each outcome using GRADE methods. Main results: We included four Cochrane Reviews, with 11 comparisons, data from 44 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), and 3196 women. We assessed all the reviews to be high quality. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs may be more effective in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding than placebo (mean difference (MD) -124 mL per cycle, 95% confidence interval (CI) -186 to -62 mL per cycle; 1 RCT, 11 women; low-certainty evidence). Mefenamic acid may be similar to naproxen (MD 21 mL per cycle, 95% CI -6 to 48 mL per cycle; 2 RCTs, 61 women; low-certainty evidence), and NSAIDs may be similar to combined hormonal contraceptives for heavy menstrual bleeding (MD 25 mL per cycle, 95% CI -22 to 73 mL per cycle; 1 RCT, 26 women; low-certainty evidence). NSAIDs may be be less effective in reducing menstrual bleeding than antifibrinolytics (relative risk (RR) 0.70, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.85; 2 RCTs, 161 women; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether NSAIDs reduce menstrual blood loss more than short-cycle progestogens (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.49 to 1.32; 1 RCT 32 women; very low-certainty evidence). Antifibrinolytics. Antifibrinolytics appear to be more effective in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding than placebo (MD -53 mL per cycle, 95% CI -63 to -44 mL per cycle; 4 RCTs, 565 women; moderate-certainty evidence). Antifibrinolytics may be similar to placebo on the incidence of side effects (RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.18; 1 RCT, 297 women; low-certainty evidence), and they are probably similar on the incidence of serious adverse events (thrombotic events; RR 0.10, 95% CI 0.00 to 2.46; 2 RCT, 468 women; moderate-certainty evidence). Antifibrinolytics may be more effective in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding than short-cycle progestogen (MD -111 mL per cycle, 95% CI -178 mL to -44 mL per cycle; 1 RCT, 46 women; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether antifibrinolytics are similar to short-cycle progestogens on quality of life (RR 1.67, 95% CI 0.76 to 3.64; 1 RCT, 44 women; very low-certainty evidence), patient satisfaction (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.39; 1 RCT, 42 women; very low-certainty evidence), or side effects (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.12; 3 RCTs, 211 women; very low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether antifibrinolytics are more effective in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding when compared with long-cycle progestogen (MD -9 points per cycle, 95% CI -30 to 12 points per cycle; 2 RCTs, 184 women; low-certainty evidence). Antifibrinolytics may increase self-reported improvement in menstrual bleeding when compared with long-cycle medroxyprogesterone acetate (RR 1.32, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.61; 1 RCT, 94 women; low-certainty evidence). Antifibrinolytics may be similar to long-cycle progestogens on quality of life (MD 5, 95% CI -2.49 to 12.49; 1 RCT, 90 women; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether antifibrinolytics are similar to long-cycle progestogens on side effects (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.33 to 1.00; 2 RCTs, 184 women; very low-certainty evidence). There were no trials comparing antifibrinolytics to combined hormonal contraceptives. Combined hormonal contraceptives. Combined hormonal contraceptives appear to be more effective for heavy menstrual bleeding than placebo or no treatment (RR 13.25, 95% CI 2.94 to 59.64; 2 RCTs, 363 women; moderate-certainty evidence). Combined hormonal contraceptives are probably similar to placebo on the incidence of side effects (RR 1.53, 95% CI 0.90 to 2.60; 2 RCTs, 411 women; moderate-certainty evidence). Progestogens. There were no trials comparing progestogens to placebo. Limitations in the evidence included risk of bias in the primary RCTs, inconsistency between the primary RCTs, and imprecision in effect estimates. Authors' conclusions: There is moderate-certainty evidence that antifibrinolytics and combined hormonal contraceptives reduce heavy menstrual bleeding compared with placebo. There is low-certainty evidence that NSAIDs reduce heavy menstrual bleeding compared with placebo. There is low-certainty evidence that antifibrinolytics are more effective in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding when compared with NSAIDs and short-cycle progestogens, but we are unable to draw conclusions about the effects of antifibrinolytics compared to long-cycle progestogens, on low-certainty evidence.

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APA

Bofill Rodriguez, M., Lethaby, A., Farquhar, C., & Duffy, J. M. N. (2020, July 23). Interventions commonly available during pandemics for heavy menstrual bleeding: an overview of Cochrane Reviews. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013651.pub2

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