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Treatment of Menorrhagia in Women With Thrombocytopenia Using Platelets or Platelets and Hormones

This study has been terminated.
(Early termination because of insufficient accrual.)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) ) Identifier:
First received: November 9, 2007
Last updated: July 11, 2013
Last verified: July 2013

This study will explore the role of oral contraceptive pills in managing uterine bleeding in women who have low blood platelet counts as a result of aplastic anemia. Oral contraceptive pills have been shown to be effective in managing uterine bleeding in healthy women, but the effects have not been thoroughly studied in women who have low platelet counts. The purpose of the study is to determine whether oral contraceptive pills are a useful complement to platelet transfusions in women with aplastic anemia and uterine bleeding.

Volunteers for this study must be women between 12 and 55 years of age who have been diagnosed with aplastic anemia (with a platelet count of less than 50,000/microliter) and currently have active uterine bleeding. Candidates must not be pregnant or breastfeeding, must have a uterus and at least one functioning ovary, and must be willing to use nonhormonal methods of birth control (such as condoms or a diaphragm) for the duration of the study. On the first visit, candidates will be screened with a complete medical history (including obstetric and gynecological history) and will undergo a physical examination, a pelvic exam and a pelvic ultrasound. Blood and urine samples will also be taken on this first visit.

The study will last approximately two weeks. Participants will be asked to monitor their medication doses and severity of bleeding during the course of the study. After the first visit, participants will be separated into two randomized groups and will receive either one tablet of oral contraceptive or a placebo twice daily, to be taken 12 hours apart at the same times each day. Participants will also receive platelet transfusions as needed to ensure that their platelet counts remain over 20,000/microliter. After seven days, researchers will assess participants' uterine bleeding and all participants will be given oral contraceptives in the second week of the study. Participants whose bleeding has decreased will receive only one tablet; participants who still have moderate to severe uterine bleeding will receive two tablets. A final assessment will be performed on day 14 of the study.

Condition Intervention Phase
Aplastic Anemia
Drug: Lo-Ovral Oral Contraceptive Pills
Drug: Placebo - sugar pill
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treatment of Menorrhagia in Women With Thrombocytopenia: Comparison of Platelet Transfusion Alone to Platelet Transfusion With Continuous Oral Contraceptive Pills

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) ):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Stop Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting. [ Time Frame: 1 week ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Proportion Who Stop Uterine Bleeding by Day 14. [ Time Frame: 2 weeks ]
  • Total Number of Bleeding Days During the First 7 Days. [ Time Frame: 1 week ]

Enrollment: 1
Study Start Date: November 2007
Study Completion Date: June 2012
Primary Completion Date: June 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Lo-ovral
1 tablet of lo-ovral is administered twice a day
Drug: Lo-Ovral Oral Contraceptive Pills
Placebo Comparator: sugar pill
Sugar pill was provided as a placebo
Drug: Placebo - sugar pill

Detailed Description:

Low platelet counts can occur as a result of blood diseases like bone marrow failure, or from undergoing procedures such as chemotherapy treatment or stem cell transplantation. A major complication of low platelet counts in reproductive aged women is uterine bleeding, which can be life threatening. Sometimes this bleeding begins with a normal menstrual cycle but may start unexpectedly. In either instance, stopping uterine bleeding not only requires blood products including platelets but also hormonal treatments.

The hormones estrogen or progesterone can aid in this setting presumably by promoting endometrial angiogenesis. Continuous oral contraceptive pills (OCP) have been shown to be very effective in the management of heavy menstrual bleeding in healthy women, but few studies have been carried out in women with low platelet counts. Moreover, they have few side-effects and are contraceptive. High-dose intravenous Premarin is also useful but only for a couple of days after which heavy bleeding will ensue. Progestin hormones are similarly effective and are also contraceptive.

Oral contraceptive pills are routinely used to control uterine bleeding in thrombocytopenia secondary to bone marrow failure, chemotherapy and/or stem cell transplantation, during episodes of severe thrombocytopenia. There are no current data supporting whether the use of hormonal management is necessary in addition to platelet transfusion. We expect to show that using continuous OCP in addition to having platelet transfusions will result in a better and more rapid control of uterine bleeding than having platelet transfusions only.

Eligible subjects will be hemodynamically stable, menstruating women aged 12-55, who have bone marrow failure, or are undergoing chemotherapy and/or stem cell transplantation for other diseases with platelet levels less than 50,000/ microliter and present with heavy menstrual bleeding which is expected to last at least 2 weeks. Subjects will be randomized to either continuous OCP (Lo-ovral) 1 tablet twice daily or placebo twice daily for one week. All subjects will receive platelet transfusions to keep platelet levels above 20,000 per microliter throughout the study. After one week, all subjects who continue to bleed will receive continuous OCP 1 tablet twice daily. Those who have stopped bleeding will receive continuous OCP 1 tablet daily. Treatments will be compared for the proportion who stop vaginal bleeding 7 and 14 days after starting treatment.


Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 55 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Women aged 12-55 years who have a uterus and at least one functioning ovary.

Women with any active uterine bleeding more than spotting

Diagnosed with bone marrow failure, and other disease that require treatment with chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation with platelet counts less than 50,000 microliters at study entry

Do not desire pregnancy for the duration of the study.

Willing and able to give informed consent.

Willing and able to comply with study requirements.


Age less than 12 years

Postmenopausal women

Hormone level in menopausal range: Follicle Stimulating Hormone greater than 40 IU/L, E (2) less than 20 pg/ml

History of liver disease that precludes OCP use

History of thrombosis, thromboembolism and/or thrombophilia.

Currently on 2 or more tablets of any oral contraceptive pills per day at study entry

Having 2 or more depo medroxyprogesterone acetate injections in the past 12 months or having depo medroxyprogesterone acetate injection in the past 90 days

Leuprolide acetate injection in the past 30 days

Smoker over the age of 35

Women with estrogen dependent tumor e.g. breast cancer.


Underlying sickle cell anemia

Women who are taking chemotherapeutic agents known to cause ovarian failure such as alkylating agents

Allergy to any medication in this protocol

  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00556400

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Principal Investigator: Pamela Stratton, MD Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  More Information

Responsible Party: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Identifier: NCT00556400     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 080022
08-CH-0022 ( Other Identifier: NIH Clinical Center protocol number )
Study First Received: November 9, 2007
Results First Received: May 21, 2013
Last Updated: July 11, 2013

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) ):
Uterine Bleeding
Aplastic Anemia
Oral Contraceptive Pills

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anemia, Aplastic
Blood Platelet Disorders
Hematologic Diseases
Bone Marrow Diseases
Uterine Hemorrhage
Uterine Diseases
Genital Diseases, Female
Menstruation Disturbances
Pathologic Processes
Contraceptives, Oral
Ethinyl Estradiol-Norgestrel Combination
Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
Contraceptive Agents
Contraceptive Agents, Female
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
Contraceptives, Postcoital, Synthetic
Contraceptives, Postcoital processed this record on May 25, 2017