Mifepristone does not induce cervical softening in non-pregnant women

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: Many techniques have been developed to soften the cervix to reduce complications following surgical dilatation. Progesterone inhibits myometrial contractility and its secretion during pregnancy ensures cervical competence. We used the progesterone antagonist mifepristone as a cervical ripening agent and evaluated its effect prior to office hysteroscopy. Methods: Fifty-eight healthy non-pregnant women aged 18-50 were studied in a randomized double-blind study. They received mifepristone (200mg) or placebo 30h prior to hysteroscopy. A Hegar test was performed prior to drug administration and again before hysteroscopy. A visual analogue pain scale was used to assess pain. Results: Medical history, physical examination and blood tests were similar in both groups, except for serum progesterone which was higher in the study group. Hegar measurement prior to drug ingestion was similar in both groups and after a mean time of 30.3 h increased in both groups. Neither the ΔHegar measurement nor the pain scale was different in the two groups. There was also no effect of the high progesterone levels. Conclusions: Unlike its dramatic effect in the pregnant uterus, mifepristone administered 30 h prior to hysteroscopy was not effective in ripening the cervix of non-pregnant women.