Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment option for menopausal symptoms.
Methods: We searched the literature using 14 databases from their inception to July 2008 and included all types of clinical studies regardless of their design. The methodological quality of all studies was assessed using a modified Jadad score.
Results: Seven studies met our inclusion criteria. Two randomized clinical trials compared the effects of yoga with those of walking or physical exercise. The meta-analysis of these data failed to show specific effects of yoga on menopausal complaints including psychological, somatic, and vasomotor symptoms. Two randomized clinical trials found no effects of yoga on total menopausal symptoms compared with wait-list control or no treatment. The remaining studies were either non-randomized (n = 1) or uncontrolled clinical trials (n = 3). They reported favorable effects of yoga on menopausal symptoms. These data collectively show that the results of rigorous studies of the effects of yoga for menopausal symptoms are unconvincing.
Conclusion: The evidence is insufficient to suggest that yoga is an effective intervention for menopause. Further research is required to investigate whether there are specific benefits of yoga for treating menopausal symptoms.