Current treatment of painful periods and other symptoms related to primary dysmenorrhea (PD) is usually commenced with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral contraceptives, which fails in about 10% of affected patients. Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen-receptor modulator (SERM), has been demonstrated to directly inhibit uterine contractions, causing improvement in uterine blood flow. It could be considered for application in selected groups of dysmenorrheic patients, for instance carriers of breast cancer-associated antigen (BRCA) genes, breast cancer survivors or women with advanced endometriosis. Thus the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of short-term treatment with tamoxifen on PD and PD-related symptoms, as well as its direct effect on parameters of intrauterine pressure during the painful menstruation, in a group of dysmenorrheic patients. After two cycles of administration of tamoxifen we noted a significant decrease in bleeding together with reductions in the severity of menstrual cramps, diarrhea, headache, fatigue and anxiety. In intrauterine pressure assessments, tamoxifen significantly decreased propagation of uterine contractions. In conclusion, SERMs such as tamoxifen may constitute a therapeutic option in selected groups of patients, improving dysmenorrheic symptoms. Additionally to its receptor-mediated effects, tamoxifen was shown to exert a direct influence on uterine contractile activity that may explain the decrease of menstrual pain and cramps noted in the studied group.
- Reproduktionsmedicin och gynekologi