Comparison of the effect of honey and mefenamic acid on the severity of pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2017 Aug;296(2):277-283. doi: 10.1007/s00404-017-4409-6. Epub 2017 Jun 16.


Background and objective: Primary dysmenorrhea starts simultaneously with menstruation or before it and usually continues for 48-72 h. As a prevalence disorder, it affects about 80-97% of women in the reproductive age. The conventional treatment modalities of primary dysmenorrhea are associated with complications and side effects. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge of the effect of honey on the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of honey on the severity of pain in women with dysmenorrhea.

Methods: A randomized crossover clinical trial was conducted on 56 female students. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. Groups I and II received honey and mefenamic acid in the 'first treatment period', respectively. In the 'second treatment period', the intervention methods were reversed between the groups. Samples recorded the severity of pain during the first 3 days of menstruation.

Results: There were no significant differences in the most severe level of pain in the first and second months of the first treatment period, and the first and second months of the second treatment period between the groups.

Conclusions: Honey and the mefenamic acid capsules led to the same amount of pain relief in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Honey is suggested to be used for pain relief due to its lower side effects and pharmacological complications.

Keywords: Honey; Mefenamic acid; Primary dysmenorrhea; Women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dysmenorrhea / complications
  • Dysmenorrhea / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Mefenamic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Menstruation
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Mefenamic Acid