The effect of herbal medicines on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Document Type : Review Article


1 Instructor, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Ph.D of Nursing, Operating Room Department, Faculty of Paramedices, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, School of Health, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran. Health Sciences Research Center, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Vaginal atrophy is one of the relatively common problems in menopausal ages and a major health concern in this group of women. Several studies have been done in the field of herbal medicine in this subject, but different findings have been reported on the efficacy of these methods. This study was performed aimed to review the studies on the effect of herbal medicines on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women.
Methods: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, published articles in databases of PubMed, Scopus, Magiran, Cochrane, web of science, SID and Google scholar were reviewed between 2000-2020 using English key words of "vaginal Atrophy, vaginal Atrophy treatment, clinical trial, herbal medicine, complementary medicine, traditional medicine”. Data were analyzed using STATA software (version 11) in %95 confidence interval. Odds ratio index and Peto method were used to combine studies and perform meta-analysis.
Results: Meta-analysis results showed that in all studies, herbal intervention improved the symptoms of vaginal atrophy (P<0.001). So that the odds of improving itching, dryness and burning in the intervention group compared to the control group was (OR=12.53, %95 CI: 5.82-26.98), (OR=7.21, %95 CI: 4.72-11.02), and (OR=18.56, %95 CI: 8.94-38.55), respectively. Also, the odds of improving dyspareunia, improving maturity index of vaginal cells and lowering vaginal PH in the intervention group compared to the control group was (OR=25.38, %95 CI: 13.79-46.69), (OR=24.30, %95 CI: 13.61-43.37) and (OR=23.30, %95 CI: 13.05-41.59), respectively.
Conclusion: Based on meta-analysis results, the effect of using herbal medicines on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women is statistically significant and the use of herbal remedies can be a good substitute for chemical drugs, because this method is accepted in postmenopausal women more than chemical drugs due to the side effects of hormone therapy.


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