Myomectomy vs Uterine Artery Embolization vs GnRh Antagonist for AUB-L

  • End date
    Aug 30, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Medstar Health Research Institute
Updated on 29 April 2021


This is a prospective cohort study comparing the novel FDA-approved oral GnRH antagonist ORIAHNN (elagolix, estradiol, and norethindrone acetate capsules; elagolix capsules) to uterine artery embolization (UAE) or myomectomy (abdominal, laparoscopic, or hysteroscopic) for treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding due to leiomyomas. Uterine leiomyomas, also called fibroids, are hormone-dependent growths in the uterine muscle that are common in reproductive-age women (1). Leiomyomas can often lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Definitive treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding due to leiomyomas is hysterectomy, but for patients who desire uterine conservation, a variety of treatment options exist. Regulation of menses with combined oral contraceptives or progestin only oral formulations are generally considered first line treatment but are not curative or effective for many patients. Another treatment option is a myomectomy, which is the surgical resection or removal of myomas. Myomectomy can be performed via hysteroscopy or laparoscopy, or by a vaginal or an abdominal approach. The route of removal depends on myoma location and patient symptoms. Another treatment option is Uterine fibroid or uterine artery embolization (UFE/UAE). UAE is a minimally invasive procedure where permanent particles are delivered to and block/embolize the blood supply to the myoma via a fluoroscopy directed arterial catheter. This typically leads to a decrease in fibroid size and associated bleeding (2). ORIAHNN, an oral GnRH antagonist that was FDA-approved in 2020, has demonstrated significant decrease in myoma-associated heavy menstrual bleeding compared to placebo (1) but has not been compared to other standard of care interventions. The primary objective of this study is to compare this novel medication to the common AUB-L treatments UAE and Myomectomy.


Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are common benign tumors in reproductive-age women. While many women with fibroids are asymptomatic, 20-50% of women may have bulk symptoms, such as pelvic pressure, urinary or gastrointestinal symptoms, and/or heavy menstrual bleeding (3-4). Heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to severe anemia requiring treatment, which has negative health and economic consequences (4). Fibroids are also associated with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss (3). Symptom character and severity depend on fibroid size and location, and they can have a significant effect on women's quality of life.

Fibroid growth is dependent on estrogen and progesterone, thus common medical management of symptoms uses hormonal agents, such as oral contraceptives, selective progesterone receptor modulators, GnRH agonists, and intrauterine devices (3). Nonhormonal medical methods include tranexamic acid, an antifibrinolytic agent that reduces menstrual blood loss, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce blood loss and improve pain relief (3). Medical management is generally the first treatment strategy for symptomatic fibroids, but definitive treatment is via a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is the most common surgical treatment of fibroids, but for women who desire to preserve the uterus, other surgical options are available (4, 5). A myomectomy removes fibroids employing either hysteroscopic, laparoscopic, abdominal approaches, or a combination of these methods. Another option for fibroid management is uterine fibroid or uterine artery embolization (UFE/UAE). This minimally invasive procedure uses a catheter to inject permanent particles inside uterine arteries to occlude the blood supply to the fibroid(s). Both myomectomy and UAE have high patient satisfaction rates. Both modalities also carry the risk of necessitating future interventions if symptoms are not controlled or if fibroids recur (5). Patients who undergo UAE have a slightly higher risk of further interventions compared to myomectomy (5).

For women who do not desire any type of surgical intervention or the UAE procedure, a new type of medical treatment has become available. Oriahnn, produced by AbbVie, is a combination of elagolix, an oral nonpeptide GnRH antagonist, and add-back therapy with estradiol and norethindrone (1, 4). It is administered at a total daily dose of 600mg: 300mg elagolix with add-back therapy in the morning and 300mg elagolix alone at night (4). Elagolix results in rapid, reversible suppression of gonadotrophin and ovarian sex hormones, and was first approved for treatment of endometriosis-associated pain (4). The side effects of elagolix are related to the creation of the hypoestrogenic state and are mitigated with add-back therapy (4). The dose and formula in Oriahnn showed a significant decrease in menstrual blood loss compared to placebo with a favorable safety profile but has never been compared to any other treatment for fibroids (4). It is FDA-approved for a treatment duration of 24 months (1).

Condition Menorrhagia, UTERINE FIBROID, Uterine Fibroids, Leiomyomas
Treatment Groups 1 and 2 myomectomy and uterine artery embolization, respectively, are surgical/procedure, Elagolix Oral Product
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04856306
SponsorMedstar Health Research Institute
Last Modified on29 April 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients with heavy menstrual bleeding and uterine fibroids documented on
imaging who are seeking treatment, and after completing standard counseling
chose either ORIAHNN, UAE, or myomectomy. If the patient has used hormonal
treatments for fibroids in the past, a wash-out period of at least 3 months
duration must be performed prior to study participation. If the patient has
had a myomectomy of any type in the past, a period of at least 6 months must
have passed since the surgery prior to study participation

Exclusion Criteria

pregnancy, presence of persistent (defined as present on 2 or more consecutive
ultrasounds) or complex ovarian cyst, active cancer, history of osteoporosis
current pelvic inflammatory disease, history of liver or renal failure
presence of coagulopathy that is unable to be corrected, or untreated thyroid
disease, and having previously been treated with UAE, GnRH antagonist, or
myomectomy within the past 6 months
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