Continuous use of a combination (ethinyl estradiol/desogestrel) oral contraceptive significantly reduces the frequency and severity of moderate-to-severe endometriosis-associated dysmenorrhea, according to a 2-year prospective clinical trial.
The study involved 50 women who underwent surgery for endometriosis in the previous year and who continued to suffer from dysmenorrhea despite cyclic use of OCs.
At the end of the study period, patients' pain decreased by more than half on average, and 80% of the women were either satisfied or very satisfied with continuous use of the pill. Amenorrhea, spotting, and breakthrough bleeding were reported by 38%, 36%, and 26%, respectively.
Vercellini P, Frontino G, DeGiorgi O, et al. Continuous use of an oral contraceptive for endometriosis-associated recurrent dysmenorrhea that does not respond to a cyclic pill regimen. Fertil Steril. 2003;80:560-563.