Objective: We have evaluated the clinical efficacy of yoga for primary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs in 50% of female adolescents and is a common problem in women of reproductive age. We have assessed whether three yoga poses (Cobra, Cat, and Fish Poses) are able to reduce severity and duration of primary dysmenorrhea.
Methods: To determine the effectiveness of yoga in adolescents with primary dysmenorrhea, 92 girl students,18-22 years old, were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 50) and a control group (n = 42). The Visual Analog Scale for Pain was used to assess intensity of pain and the pain duration was calculated in terms of hours. Each group was evaluated for three menstrual cycles. At first cycle no method was presented; the participants only were asked to complete the questionnaire of menstrual characteristics during their menstrual. Then the participants were asked by the experimental group to do yoga poses at luteal phase, and also to complete the menstrual characteristics questionnaire in during of menstruation. The control group did not receive any intervention except to complete menstrual characteristics questionnaire in during of menstruation.
Results: There was a significant difference in the pain intensity and pain duration in the post-tests compared with the pretest in yoga group (P < 0.05). The results showed that compared with the Control group, there was a significant difference in the pain intensity and pain duration in the experimental group (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Yoga reduced the severity and duration of primary dysmenorrhea. The findings suggest that yoga poses are safe and simple treatment for primary dysmenorrhea.