Vaginal bromocriptine improves pain, menstrual bleeding and quality of life in women with adenomyosis: A pilot study

Johanna K. Andersson, Zaraq Khan, Amy L. Weaver, Lisa E. Vaughan, Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, Elizabeth A. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Adenomyosis is a benign uterine disease where endometrial glands and stroma are found within the myometrium surrounded by an area of hypertrophic myometrium. Symptomatology includes heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. The pathogenesis of adenomyosis is not known; however, animal models have shown increased uterine concentration of prolactin as a risk factor. Prolactin acts as a smooth muscle cell mitogen. If prolactin is central to adenomyosis pathogenesis, reducing uterine prolactin could be a possible medical treatment option. In this pilot study, we aim to evaluate the effect of bromocriptine, a prolactin inhibitor, on menstrual bleeding and pain in women with adenomyosis. Material and methods: 23 women with diffuse adenomyosis were enrolled from a university hospital in Sweden and a tertiary care center in the USA. Nineteen patients completed 6 months of treatment with vaginal bromocriptine at a dose of 5 mg daily. Participants completed validated measures at baseline, 3 and 6 months of treatment, and at 9 months (3 months after cessation of bromocriptine). Validated measures utilized included Pictorial Blood Loss Assessment Chart (PBLAC), Aberdeen Menorrhagia Clinical Outcomes Questionnaire (AMCOQ), Visual Analog Scale for pain (VAS), McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Endometriosis Health Profile (EHP-30), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and the Fibroid Symptom Quality of Life (UFS-QOL) symptom severity and health-related quality of life (HRQL) subscores. Scores were compared between baseline and 9 months using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: Mean age of participants was 44.8 years. About 77.8% reported PBLAC scores >250 and 68.4% reported moderate to severe pain at baseline. Compared with baseline, women had lower 9-month scores (median [interquartile range] for all) on PBLAC (baseline 349 [292-645] vs 9-month 233 [149-515], P = 0.003), VAS (5.0 [4-8.3] vs 2.5 [0-4.5], P < 0.001), EHP Core Pain (15.9 [9.1-50.0] vs 3.4 [2.3-34.1], P = 0.029), EHP Core Self-image (41.7 [16.7-58.3] vs 25 [0-5], P = 0.048) and Symptom Severity Score (60 [44-72] vs 44 [25-56], P < 0.001) and higher HRQL scores (57 [37-63] vs 72 [51-85], P < 0.001) following bromocriptine treatment. Other EHP core parameters and FSFI were not significantly different. Conclusions: Significant improvement in menstrual bleeding, pain and quality of life after vaginal bromocriptine treatment suggests a novel therapeutic agent for adenomyosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1350
Number of pages10
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • adenomyosis
  • bromocriptine
  • menstrual bleeding
  • pain
  • prolactin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vaginal bromocriptine improves pain, menstrual bleeding and quality of life in women with adenomyosis: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this