August 23, 2006

Oral contraceptives curb bleeding after C-section

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - After having a cesarean
delivery, a woman may experience vaginal bleeding outside her
normal periods. Taking oral contraceptive pills can resolve the
problem, researchers in Japan report.

Anatomic defects at the site of cesarean section scars in
the uterus are thought to be the cause of such bleeding, they
explain. However, there is currently no simple treatment.

Dr. Masahiro Tahara from Osaka University Graduate School
of Medicine and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of
treatment with an oral contraceptive containing a combination
of estrogen and progesterone (Pranoval) in 11 women with
recurrent vaginal bleeding after a C-section.

Ten of the women had a decrease and then cessation of
bleeding after three treatment cycles, the team reports in the
medical journal Fertility and Sterility, and the eleventh woman
became free of abnormal vaginal bleeding after an additional
three cycles.

The investigators are uncertain about how the treatment
works, but proposed mechanisms include an effect on coagulation
and improvement in the integrity of the lining of blood

"Our findings support the use of conservative hormonal
therapy for treating intermenstrual bleeding in patients with
defects at the previous cesarean uterine scar," the authors
conclude. "However, it must be noted that this study is
preliminary, and more work is needed to show the effectiveness
in a large population of women with prior cesarean deliveries."

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, August 2006.