Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and primary dysmenorrhea are common complaints among young women. This study evaluated the effects of curcumin supplements on symptoms of pain in young women with PMS and dysmenorrhea. A randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial was undertaken. Women who suffered from both PMS and dysmenorrhea were enrolled, and were randomly allocated to the curcumin (n = 62), or placebo (n = 62) groups. Each subject received one capsule (500 mg of curcuminoid, or placebo) daily, from 7 days pre- until 3 days post-menstruation for three successive menstrual cycles. Participants recorded the severity of PMS, or dysmenorrhea using a Premenstrual Syndrome Screening Tool (PSST) and the visual analog scale, respectively. Baseline characteristics of participants did not differ between the curcumin and placebo groups. At the end of the trial, the PSST scores were significantly lower in both the curcumin (32.5 ± 9.8 vs. 21.6 ± 9.8); and placebo groups (31.7 ± 9.4 vs. 23.4 ± 12.8). There was a significant reduction of dysmenorrhea pain in both the curcumin and placebo groups (by 64% and 53.3%, respectively). Hence, curcumin had comparable effects as placebo, regarding the amelioration of symptoms of PMS and dysmenorrhea. Further studies are required with larger samples, using higher doses curcumin for longer durations, and perhaps in combination therapy.
Keywords: menstrual disorders; menstruation; prostaglandin; turmeric.
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.