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Gynecological uses of GnRH antagonists: review article

Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal
Elizabeth Natalia Martínez-Núñez,1 Daniel Ernesto Carvallo-Ruiz,1 José Núñez-Troconis2

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Aim: to review and analyze the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists in endometriosis, adenomyosis, non-menstrual pelvic pain, uterine fibroids, prostate cancer, female infertility, and precocious puberty.
Methods: the information used to write this manuscript was obtained during a three-month period, between October and May 2022, from specialized literature, written in English and Spanish, related to the use and potential applications of GnRH antagonists in medicine, mainly published during the last five years, using journals found in the most relevant medical digital archives, including PubMed, SciELO, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and Elsevier. Among the keywords used for obtaining this updated information were gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists; GnRH receptors (GnRHR); elagolix; relugolix; cetrorelix; linzagolix; hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis; endometriosis; adenomyosis; pelvic pain; uterine fibroids; leiomyomas; infertility; precocious puberty; PP; and central PP.
Results: GnRH antagonists induce a rapid onset of clinical effects, without the flare-up effect that is seen with agonists, and have immediate therapeutic effects; once treatment concludes, hormonal suppression rapidly ceases, with normalization of gonadal function within a few days, guaranteeing an increase of GnRH concentration, controlling non-menstrual pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding, and serving as part of the treatment of infertility and precocious puberty.
Conclusion: even though the aforementioned gynecological pathologies can be treated with the use of multiple drugs, GnRH antagonists have shown to be potential first lines of treatment, as long as their administration protocols are followed correctly.


adenomyosis; elagolix; endometriosis; infertility; leiomyoma; pelvic pain; precocious puberty