The Effect of Yoga on Menstrual Disorders: A Systematic Review

J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):407-417. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0363. Epub 2017 Feb 16.


Objective: To summarize and evaluate evidence for the effect of yoga on menstrual disorders.

Methods: PubMed, CINAHL/MEDLINE, Web of Science, AMED, and Scopus were searched for English-language literature relevant to the review question. All primary research studies were included.

Results: Fifteen studies described in 18 papers were included in the review. A range of yoga interventions were used. Some studies used a combination of Asana, Pranayama, and other yogic relaxation or meditation techniques. All included studies reported some change in their outcome measures, suggesting reduced symptoms of menstrual distress following a yoga intervention; however, the heterogeneity and intensity of the interventions and outcome measures meant that findings have limited generalizability and applicability in practice settings.

Conclusions: Further research on the relationship between yoga practice and menstrual disorders is warranted, but there must be both consistency in the methods, measures, and quality of studies and a shift toward research on yoga practices that are replicable outside of the clinical trial setting.

Keywords: menstruation; symptoms management; systematic review; women's health; yoga.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstruation Disturbances / therapy*
  • Yoga*
  • Young Adult