The effectiveness of fennel on sexual health of postmenopausal women: A systematic review study

Document Type : Review Article


1 PhD Candidate of Reproductive Health, Students Research Committee, Midwifery and Reproductive Health Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Midwifery and Reproductive Health Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 PhD Candidate of Reproductive Health, Clinical Cares and Health Promotion Research Center, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran.

4 M.Sc. in Midwifery, Students Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

5 M.Sc. in Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.


Introduction: Menopause is a physiological period in a woman's life that is accompanied by symptoms or complications which may need treatment. This study was conducted with aim to consolidate the existing knowledge to evaluate the effect of fennel on sexual health of postmenopausal women.
Methods: In this review study, to find the clinical trial studies which evaluated the effect of fennel (oral, inhaled or vaginal) on sexual health of postmenopausal women, the databases of PubMed/Medline(NLM), SCOPUS, Web of Sciences, ProQuest, The Cochrane library, and Google scholar were searched from 2000 to 2021 with no language restrictions with the keywords of "Sexual Satisfaction", "Sexual function", "Sexual life", "fennel", "Menopause" and related terms. The primary outcome was evaluation of sexual health in postmenopausal women. Studies which their full text was in Persian or English entered the study. The Cochran checklist was used to assess the quality of studies.
Results: Seven studies with 570 postmenopausal women included in this review according to inclusion criteria. Based on the results, the positive effect of fennel in various forms of inhaled, oral and vaginal alone or in combination with other herbal medicines on the sexual health of postmenopausal women has been reported in six studies. Only one study comparing it with citalopram found no effect of fennel.
Conclusion: It seems that fennel is a drug which affects sexual health in postmenopausal women. In future studies on fennel, it is suggested that the evaluation of side effects and cost-effectiveness be considered.


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