Menorrhagia is one of the most common reasons for pre-menopausal women to be referred to a gynaecologist. Although medical therapy is generally the first approach, many women will eventually require or request a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is associated with a significant in-patient hospital stay and a period of convalescence that makes it an unattractive and unnecessarily invasive option for many women.
Hysteroscopic endometrial ablation or resection, and more recently "second generation" devices such as balloon or microwave ablation offer a day-case surgical alternative to hysterectomy for these women. They are also cheaper procedures than hysterectomy. Complete endometrial removal or destruction is one of the most important determinants of treatment success. Therefore surgery will be most effective if undertaken when endometrial thickness is less than four mm, in the immediate post-menstrual phase, however there are often difficulties in reliably arranging surgery for this time. The other option is the use of hormonal agents which induce endometrial thinning or atrophy prior to surgery. The most commonly evaluated agents have been goserelin (a GnRH analogue) and danazol. Progestogens and other GnRH analogues have also been studied although less data are available. It has been suggested that the use of these agents, particularly GnRH analogues, will reduce operating time, improve the intra-uterine operating environment, and reduce distension medium absorption (this is the fluid used to distend the uterine cavity during surgery). They may also result in a greater improvement in long term outcomes such as menstrual loss and dysmenorrhoea.