Yoga Therapy for Treatment of Menstrual
Disorders without Obvious Causes
Obstetrics Gynecology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Submission: March 14, 2021; Published: March 20, 2021
*Corresponding author: S Chhabra, Emeritus Professor, Obstetrics Gynecology Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Officer on Special Duty, Dr. Sushila Nayar Hospital, Utavali, Melghat, Amravati, Chief Executive Officer, Aakanksha Shishu Gruha, Kasturba Health Society, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
How to cite this article: S Chhabra. Yoga Therapy for Treatment of Menstrual Disorders without Obvious Causes. J Yoga & Physio. 2021; 8(5): 555747.
Introduction: Yoga is believed to help women of all ages lead healthier lives, by immediate remedy through relaxation, and deeper action through body mind regulation. It is believed to inspire system that influences one’s notions about wellness in life, even in presence of disorders. Menstrual abnormalities are one of most common disorders, women suffer. It may be less or more vaginal bleeding, for short or long duration, less or more interval between two menstrual phases, or continuous bleeding. Sometimes cause is obvious, can be treated. However, if it is not obvious, it may have linkage to notions, not easy to treat.
Objective: To know about status of practice of Yoga for treatment of menstrual disorders in women who do not have obvious disorders.
Material Methods: Studies, reviews in relation to effects of Yoga on menstrual disorders were searched. There was no inclusion, exclusion criteria of studies, reviews. Whatever could be accessed including recorded opinions were looked into.
Results: Yoga is believed to be safe, cost effective therapeutic modality, for good health, wellbeing by regulating body weight, improving biochemical functions, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Global Multidisciplinary group of researchers, who conducted large clinical trials to examine benefits of Yoga found positive effects of Yoga on Oligomenorrhea, infrequent menstruation, menorrhogia compared to exercise or no activity, in addition to taking an omega-3 supplement or placebo. Yoga might help by improving immune function of body, flexibility, endurance with added psychological benefits, directly and/or indirectly affecting menstrual disorders. However, after reviewing many studies about evidence of effects of Yoga on menstrual disorders, researchers concluded that more research with consistency in methods, measures, quality of studies was warranted.
Conclusion: More research is needed about use effectiveness of Yoga practice to treat menstrual disorders.
Keywords: Menstrual disorders; No obvious cause; Yoga practice; Effects
Menstrual abnormalities are one of the most common disorders encountered by women during reproductive life. Abnormal bleeding could occur beyond menopause too. Menstrual problems may be of less or more bleeding, during menstruation, for a short or long duration, with less or more interval between two menstrual phases, bleeding during interval or even continuous bleeding. In some women there are obvious disorders which are responsible for menstrual abnormalities but in others there is no cause. Such cases are usually given some or other hormones. However, hormones used for treating menstrual disorders, are not always effective in relieving symptoms and also, they do have side effects . So search continues for knowing alternative therapies for menstrual disorders, specially those categorized as dysfunctional uterine haemorrhage, meaning there
is no obvious pelvic or endocrinal or other such pathologies, but dysfunction in menstruation, difficult to treat.
Literature search with available search engines was done to know about studies, and reviews, in relation to Yoga practices and effects on menstrual dysfunction. There were no inclusion or exclusion criteria of studies and reviews. Whatever could be accessed including opinions was looked into and self-observations were added.
Yoga is believed to benefit health and wellbeing by regulating
body weight and may be by improving body metabolism. So Yoga
may be affecting menstrual function too. Menstrual disorders
may result from physical disorders, emotional and hormonal
disturbances, pathological development of reproductive organs,
other organs or even psychological disturbances like depression,
fear, or stress. All these are likely to get affected by Yoga practice.
Prabhu et al.  did a study to know about effects of Yogasanas
on menstrual cramps in young and adult women with primary
dysmenorrhea and reported that both, Yogasans and Core exercises
were useful in reducing menstrual pain. Rani  has reported
that regular and proper practice of Yoga, Asanas and Pranayamas
were beneficial to women who suffered from menstrual disorders,
however rest, medicines and relaxation were also necessary.
Yoga helped by correcting and balancing the functioning of the
endocrine system, toning up the nervous system. It also relaxed
the body and mind, which reduced the psychological problems.
The Yogic postures helped in preserving the general health and
reducing menstrual dysfunctions by improving the vigour and the
strength of the body.
It seems that the roots of Yoga might have been in India but
the perceived benefits of Yoga have led to its wide acceptability
globally. It has been reported that around 15 million Americans
practice Yoga . Bullork  reported that a multidisciplinary
group of researchers conducted large clinical trial to examine the
benefits of Yoga compared to exercise or no activity, in addition
to taking either an omega-3 supplement or placebo. Study
participants included 355 peri- and postmenopausal women aged
40-62 years, who were randomized to one of the three groups,
Yoga (107 participants), Exercise (106), and Usual Activity (177).
These women were also randomized to receive either 1.8g/day
of an Omega-3 supplement or an Olive oil placebo capsule. Also
those in the Yoga attended weekly, 90-minute classes and were
asked to complete a home practice daily for 20 minutes. Yoga
practice entailed “doing cooling” pranayama, 11-13 Asans, and
yoga nidra guided meditation. However researchers reported that
no differences were found for vasomotor symptoms. However,
women in the Yoga group reported modest improvement in sleep
quality and a reduction in insomnia and depressive symptoms.
Results of another pilot study revealed the benefits of Yoga therapy
in lowering blood pressure, improving the immune function of the
body which directly and indirectly affected menstrual disorders
too by improving flexibility, endurance and added psychological
In various studies on the effects of Yoga on Amenorrhea,
Oligomenorrhea, Dysmenorrhoea, Premenstrual Syndrome and
Premenstrual Dysphonic Disorder enhanced mood, reduced pain,
increased wellbeing and a heightened relaxation response were
among the improved outcomes reported by women who practised
Yoga . Yeun et al.  looked into studies and reported that there
was objective evidence for Yoga, as a useful complementary and
alternative medicine on women with menstrual distress and
primary dysmenorrhea. Vaghela et al.  reported that when
compared the effects of Aerobic exercise and Yoga on premenstrual
syndrome, both Aerobic exercise and Yoga practice were effective
in treating PMS, however Yoga was more effective in relieving the
symptoms of PMS than Aerobic exercise. Aggarwal et al.  did a
study about effects of Yogasans and Pranayama on pain, severity
and quality of life in primary dysmennorhea and reported that
Yogasans along with Pranayama technique were more effective
than using a single intervention protocol either of Yogasans or
Pranayama in primary dysmennorhea.
Not much is known about menstrual irregularities in middle
age with or without Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and with
or without Metabolic syndrome which commonly lead to menstrual
abnormalities. Metabolic syndrome is becoming public health
problem because it is believed to be a rising issue and probably
20 to 30 percent of women suffer with Metabolic syndrome .
0ates also looked at various studies for effects of Yoga on
Amenorrhea, Oligomenorrhea, Dysmenorrhoea, Premenstrual
Syndrome and Premenstrual dysphonic disorders reported by
women who participated in Yoga practice and reported that
menstrual dysfunctions were common and Metabolic disorders
too were common. So it becomes essential to know more about
the relationship between the two. There is a dramatic change in
the way Metabolic syndrome is treated after a growing body of
evidence has pointed to Insulin Resistance as an underlying cause
of Metabolic Syndrome. Insulin resistance, believed to be a key
pathogenic factor in both PCOS and the Metabolic syndrome, may
be the thread that links the two conditions . 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 towards research on
Yoga practice that is replicable outside the clinical trial settings.
Goel  also reported that various breathing techniques used in
Yoga were to improve blood circulation which caused ease of the
flow of blood during menstruation. This also relieves pain that is
experienced during menstruation. Various positions of Yoga are
useful to enhance uninterrupted down flow during menstruation
and prevent dysmenorrhea. But they need to be performed with
awareness.Yoga is believed to offer both immediate superficial
remedy at the body and mind level in the form of relaxation
practices and also deeper action by working on, notions about life.
Menstrual disorders may result from physical disorders,
emotional and hormonal disturbances, improper development
with weak muscles of reproductive organs, imbalance of
hormones, weak constitution, pathological and psychological
disturbances like depression, fear, stress and mental tension. As
Yoga is likely to benefit women with such health problems which
have linkages to menstrual disorders, so it could help in relief of menstrual dysfunctions. Yoga seems to help by correcting and
balancing the functioning of the endocrine system, toning up of
the nervous system and also relaxation of the body and mind, thus
reducing the psychological problems. Yoga is a correct approach
to life, with right diet, exercise and hygiene, quite essential for
the normal development and functioning of the reproductive
system. The Yogic postures help in preserving the general health
and reduce the complaints regarding menstruation by improving
the vigour and strength of the body. There is a need for spreading
the knowledge about benefits of Yoga practice to large section of
the society. This is possible if practice of Yoga is validated through
exhaustive research based on standard parameters. Scientific
exploration of Yoga in women with interdisciplinary approach
is needed. While treating menstrual disorders, the major goal is
to treat the underlying cause and when cause is not obvious, it is
usually difficult to treat. Hormonal therapies may or may not be
effective in relieving the symptoms and they have their side effects
too. In some women they are contraindicated too. So research
continues to identify the efficacy of alternative therapies for
menstrual dysfunction. Yoga seems to be an alternative or primary
treatment, for maintaining health and wellbeing by regulating
body weight, improving biochemical functions overcoming the
obesity related complications as well as Metabolic syndrome
which lead to relief from menstrual dysfunction.
So, Yoga is likely to be beneficial in treating Metabolic Syndrome
and so menstrual disorders also . More research is needed for
identifying the efficacy of Yoga in menstrual dysfunction, to know
about Yogasanas with various postures through which the physical
revitalization, deep relaxation and mental calmness are achieved.
Yoga recognizes the link between breathing and calmness of the
mind, which could be beneficial in premenstrual syndrome too and
also help relief from other menstrual disorders, like menopauserelated,
hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue negatively which
impact the quality of life of millions of women. After looking at
evidence of effects of Yoga on menstrual disorders by reviewing
many papers Oates  also concluded that more research about
relationship between Yoga practice and menstrual disorders was
warranted. Also, there is need of a deeper understanding of the
effects of Yoga on menopausal menstrual effects, especially those
without any obvious organic disorders. Yoga is known to play
an important role in reducing stress and sympathetic activity,
increasing parasympathetic activity, improving one’s quality of
life, and also by decreasing psychological symptoms. It also has
beneficial effects on physical and mental health through down
regulation of the hypothalamic- pituitary- adrenal axis and
the sympathetic nervous system, which may also be useful for
managing primary dysmenorrhea. Yoga asanas help in increasing
the flow of vital energy to the reproductive organs and establishes
a balance among hormones regulating menstruation. While
practicing Yoga it should be kept in mind that the number and the
sequences should always be modified according to the capacity
and other conditions of the person. One must avoid practicing
Yoga by just looking at the television or by reading a book on
Yoga therapy. The practice should be learnt from a qualified Yoga
therapist. This is cost effective and can be used as a exercise for
menstrual well-being and help improve quality of life.