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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2011 October;63(5):439-48


language: English

Cervical ripening prior to hysteroscopy: is the application of misoprostol useful?

Arena S. 1, Zupi E. 2, Affronti G. 1

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, S. Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Perugia, Italy 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy


Cervical dilatation has to be considered a fundamental step in operative hysteroscopy. Different methods are used to facilitate cervical dilatation. The aim of this review is to evaluate the efficacy of Misoprostol in cervical ripening prior to operative hysteroscopy through the evaluation of published studies. Initially designed for the treatment of peptic ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, misoprostol, a prostaglandin E1 analogue, is commonly used for medical abortion in the first and second trimesters, cervical priming before vacuum aspiration or dilation and curettage, induction of labor, and the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. Misoprostol was licensed for oral administration, but a large number of clinical studies have reported that vaginal administration is more effective in cervical ripening. Misoprostol is effective in inducing an adequate cervical dilatation prior to an operative hysteroscopy. Vaginal administration could be necessary for all conditions where cervical ripening is difficult to perform. Patients given GnRH analogue therapy before hysteroscopy may benefit from the application of Misoprostol. However, its use in postmenopausal patients may not be efficacious. As far as the application of Misoprostol prior to diagnostic hysteroscopy is concerned, the number of patients that may find an advantage in the treatment is probably very small. Misoprostol has some important advantages, such as easy application, very low price, and greater acceptability by doctors and patients.

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