Research Publications on Yoga for Menstrual Health

These studies collectively illustrate the beneficial effects of yoga and aerobic exercise on managing Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and primary dysmenorrhea, with yoga consistently showing significant advantages in reducing symptoms and enhancing quality of life.

While both aerobic exercise and yoga effectively reduce pain and PMS symptoms, yoga demonstrates a superior capability in alleviating a wider range of PMS symptoms and improving psychological well-being in individuals with menstrual irregularities.

Specific yoga poses and Yoga Nidra are highlighted as effective interventions for reducing menstrual pain and improving overall psychological and physical health, suggesting yoga as a potent, non-pharmacological treatment option for menstrual health issues.

To compare the effects of aerobic exercise and yoga on Premenstrual syndrome. J Educ Health Promot, 2019; Link

The study aimed to compare the effectiveness of aerobic exercise and yoga in treating Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), a condition affecting up to 80% of women in their reproductive years, characterized by a range of emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Seventy-two participants diagnosed with PMS were randomized into two groups: one receiving aerobic exercise and the other yoga movements, both for 40 minutes, three times a week for one month. Outcomes measured included pain intensity via the Visual Analog Scale and overall PMS symptoms. Both interventions significantly reduced pain and PMS symptoms, but yoga proved more effective in alleviating PMS symptoms than aerobic exercise, although both treatments showed no significant difference in reducing pain intensity. The study concludes that while both aerobic exercise and yoga are beneficial for PMS management, yoga may offer a superior reduction in PMS symptoms.

Effect of three yoga poses (cobra, cat and fish poses) in women with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized clinical trial. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol, 2011; Link

This study evaluated the clinical efficacy of yoga in reducing the severity and duration of primary dysmenorrhea, a prevalent issue affecting 50% of female adolescents and women of reproductive age. Through a randomized control trial involving 92 girl students aged 18-22, the research compared the effects of three specific yoga poses (Cobra, Cat, and Fish Poses) on pain intensity and duration during menstruation. Participants were divided into an experimental group (n=50) and a control group (n=42), with assessments over three menstrual cycles. The experimental group practiced the yoga poses during the luteal phase, while both groups completed questionnaires on menstrual characteristics. Results showed a significant reduction in pain intensity and duration in the yoga group compared to the control group (P < 0.05), suggesting that yoga is a safe and effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhea.

Impact of Yoga Nidra on psychological general wellbeing in patients with menstrual irregularities: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Yoga, 2011; Link

This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Yoga Nidra, a form of yogic relaxation therapy, on the psychological wellbeing of patients with menstrual disorders. Conducted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of C.S.M. Medical University in Lucknow, India, the study involved 150 female subjects divided into two groups: a Yoga group receiving yogic intervention and a control group without such intervention. Psychological assessments were conducted at the start and after six months, focusing on general wellbeing, anxiety, depression, positive wellbeing, general health, and vitality. The results showed significant improvements in the Yoga group: anxiety and depression levels decreased markedly (P<0.003 and P<0.01, respectively), while positive wellbeing, general health, and vitality saw significant enhancements (P<0.02 and P<0.01). These findings indicate that Yoga Nidra can be an effective complementary treatment for psychological issues associated with menstrual irregularities, suggesting its potential as a therapeutic tool in managing menstrual-related psychological distress.

Effect of Yoga Exercise on Premenstrual Symptoms among Female Employees in Taiwan. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2016; Link

A study in Taiwan on 64 women found that a 12-week yoga program significantly reduced menstrual pain, decreased the use of analgesics, and improved symptoms like abdominal swelling, breast tenderness, and cramps. Post-intervention, improvements were also noted in physical function, bodily pain, and other health-related quality of life aspects measured by the SF-36 scale. The findings suggest that yoga is effective in alleviating premenstrual symptoms and enhancing overall health, indicating its potential as a beneficial wellness activity for women experiencing premenstrual distress.

Yoga and Quality of Life in Women with Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review. J Midwifery Womens Health, 2018; Link

This article presents a systematic review examining the effectiveness of yoga in improving the quality of life (QOL) for women with primary dysmenorrhea, a common condition causing pain and associated social and psychological distress. Following PRISMA guidelines, databases such as Ovid MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed were searched, resulting in 14 eligible studies (including 8 RCTs and 6 quasi-experimental studies) that demonstrated statistically significant QOL improvements across various domains such as physical pain, sleep, and social relationships. The studies, predominantly moderate in quality with a moderate risk of bias, suggest yoga as a safe and effective method for managing primary dysmenorrhea. However, the article calls for more extensive, high-quality RCTs to fully understand yoga's clinical significance in this context.