Effects of yoga on sexual function in women with metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial

J Sex Med. 2013 Nov;10(11):2741-51. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12283. Epub 2013 Jul 30.


Introduction: Female sexual dysfunction is an important public health issue; it has a high global prevalence, but no effective and safe treatment options. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction is higher in women with metabolic syndrome than in the general population.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of yoga as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in women with metabolic syndrome.

Methods: In this randomized, controlled study, 41 women with metabolic syndrome (age 30-60 years) were assigned to a 12-week yoga exercise group (n=20) or a wait-listed control group (n=21).

Main outcome measures: Primary end points were changes in total and individual domain scores on the Female Sexual Function Index.

Results: The 12-week yoga intervention resulted in significant improvement in arousal (0.74±1.18 vs. 0.16±0.82, respectively; P=0.042) and lubrication (0.72±1.12 vs. 0.06±0.87, respectively; P=0.008) compared with the control group. Systolic blood pressure showed significantly greater improvement in the yoga group than in the control group at the 12-week follow up (-3.5±13.7 vs. 2.0±14.7, respectively; P=0.040).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that yoga may be an effective treatment for sexual dysfunction in women with metabolic syndrome as well as for metabolic risk factors.

Keywords: Female Sexual Dysfunction; Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI); Metabolic Syndrome; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / metabolism*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*
  • Young Adult