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Open Access Research article

Post-laparoscopic oral contraceptive combined with Chinese herbal mixture in treatment of infertility and pain associated with minimal or mild endometriosis: a randomized controlled trial

Shaomi Zhu, Dong Liu, Wei Huang*, Qiushi Wang, Qiuyi Wang, Lu Zhou and Guimei Feng

Author Affiliations

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West China Second University Hospital of Sichuan University, Renminnanlu 3 Duan 20hao, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:222  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-222

Published: 5 July 2014



Endometriosis affects fertility negatively. The study aims to evaluate whether laparoscopic surgery combined with oral contraceptive or herbs were more effective than laparoscopic alone in improving fecundity and pelvic pain in women with minimal/mild endometriosis.


A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted in 156 infertile women with minimal/mild endometriosis. After laparoscopic surgery, patients were randomized to three groups: in Group A (n = 52) oral contraceptive (OC) was administered one pill a day, continuous for 63 days without intervals, in Group B (n = 52) OC was administered as above and then Dan’e mixture was added 30 g/day for the latter 30 days, and in control Group C (n = 52) patients tried to get pregnant after surgery without complementary treatment. The follow-up periods were 12 months in Group C and 14 months in complementary medical treatment Group A and B. The pregnant women were further followed up, and labor and pregnancy outcomes were assessed. Primary outcome was pregnancy rate (PR) and live birth rate (LBR). Secondary outcomes included changes of pelvic pain visual analog scale scores and side effects. Analyses were done as intention-to-treat.


The PR was 46.80% (73/156), and the LBR was 69.86% (51/73). Of the 73 pregnancies, 60 occurred within 12 months of follow-up and 7 of the remaining 13 patients underwent assisted reproductive technology for >1 year. No significant difference was observed in PR and LBR among the three groups. Patients given medical treatment (OCs or OCs plus herbal medicine) had significantly decreased pain scores compared with the laparoscopy alone group.


Combination of laparoscopy with OCs or OCs and herbal medicine does not have more advantages than laparoscopy alone in improving fertility of women with minimal/mild endometriosis.

Trial registration


Endometriosis; Infertility; Oral contraceptive pills; Herbal medicine