Research Article| Volume 35, ISSUE 3, P294-298, June 2022

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A Retrospective Comparison of Time to Cessation of Acute Heavy Menstrual Bleeding in Adolescents Following Two Dose Regimens of Combined Oral Hormonal Therapy

Published:October 19, 2021DOI:


      Study Objective

      Although multiple hormonal treatment strategies are effective in decreasing heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) in adolescents, few studies have compared the relative effectiveness of hormone therapy on the basis of dose.


      Retrospective chart review


      Urban tertiary care institution


      Adolescents aged 9–19 years with acute HMB and anemia in 2008–2018


      We used billing codes to identify encounters for acute HMB with hemoglobin less than 12 mg/dl and reviewed initial treatment and time until resolution of acute HMB. We excluded patients who had previously used gonadal steroids or did not complete follow-up. We then compared patients who received combined oral ethinyl estradiol with progestin (EE/P) in standard dosing (EE ≤35 mcg/day) vs taper dosing (EE >35mcg/day in any step-down regimen).

      Main Outcome Measures

      Time until patient-reported resolution of acute HMB, measured in days from initial treatment


      Of 207 patients with vaginal bleeding and anemia, 90 met the criteria for review of therapy type and dose. Users of combined EE/P were hormone-naïve in 28/33 (84.8%) of those who initiated standard EE/P and 22/32 (68.8%) who initiated taper dosing. Bleeding duration was available for 15/28 (53.6%) and 18/22 (81.8%). Resolution of HMB occurred in 0–9 days with standard dosing (mean ±SD 2.1 ± 2.3 days) versus 1–15 days for taper dosing (4.9 ± 4.7; p = 0.04). Excluding six outliers of zero or more than 10 days, HMB ceased by 2.6 and 3 days (n = 12 and 15; p = 0.62).


      Currently recommended higher dose combined hormonal regimens do not appear to shorten the time to resolution of acute HMB in adolescents.

      Key Words

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