BACKGROUND: Rectosigmoid endometriosis is a severe form of deep endometriosis, which may be responsible for pain symptoms and a wide range of intestinal complains such as diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramping. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of long-term therapy with dienogest (DNG), a fourth-generation progestin, for ameliorating quality of life, pain, and intestinal symptoms of patients affected by rectosigmoid endometriosis.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database was done on patients with endometriotic nodules infiltrating at least the muscular layer of the rectosigmoid wall with an estimated colorectal stenosis <60%. The diagnosis of rectosigmoid endometriosis was based on transvaginal ultrasonography. Patients accepting to participate in the study received continuous oral treatment with DNG at the dose of 2 mg/day.
RESULTS: At the end of the first year of treatment, a significant decrease in dysmenorrhea (P < 0.001), chronic pelvic pain (P < 0.001), dyspareunia (P < 0.001), dyschezia (P < 0.001), and in intestinal symptoms (P < 0.001) was observed. A progressive increase of the Endometriosis Health Profile-30 (EHP-30) and Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI) scores was observed in the first two years of therapy (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Improvements of patients' symptoms and quality of life were maintained until the end of the study. The regimen was well tolerated, and the frequency and amount of irregular bleeding decreased as treatment progressed.
CONCLUSION: The current study confirms the efficacy of long-term therapy with DNG for treating symptoms caused by rectosigmoid endometriosis.