Meta-analysis: yoga practice relieves menstrual pain

  • Kim SD
  • Complement Ther Clin Pract
  • 1 Aug 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Patients with menstrual cramps report pain relief after standardized yoga interventions in 4 randomized controlled trials.

Why this matters

  • Yoga practice may be an effective complementary therapy for primary dysmenorrhea.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 4 randomized controlled trials including a total of 230 women with primary dysmenorrhea (mean age range, 20-33.6 years).
  • The effects of practicing yoga (n=129) were compared with not practicing yoga (n=101) for menstrual pain.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Yoga sessions were conducted in different trials:
    • 30 minutes, 2 sessions/week, for 12 weeks.
    • 120 minutes, 5 sessions/week, for 12 weeks.
    • 4 sessions/week for 4 weeks.
    • 20 minutes session/day for 14 days.
  • The effect of a yoga program on menstrual pain in primary dysmenorrhea was high (mean overall effect size, −2.09; P=.031).
  • A high heterogeneity (I2), 96.6% was noted between the trials (P<.001>
  • 4 trials were quality A level, and the critical appraisal was subject to a low risk for bias.

Limitations

  • High heterogeneity.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm