Effect of combined inhaler aromatherapy on sexual function in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial

Document Type : Original Article


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

2 Instructor, Department of Midwifery, Health Services Management Research center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Associate professor, Department of Biostatistics, School of Health and Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

4 M.Sc. student, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Introduction: Due to increased life expectancy and a growing elderly population, sexual and physical problems related to menopause are important from the health point of view. This study was performed with aim to evaluate the effect of combined inhaler aromatherapy (lavender, fennel, geranium and rose) in reduction of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women.
Methods:This randomized clinical trial study was performed on 120 postmenopausal women aged 45-55 years referring to health centers of Ardabil University of Medical Sciences in 2014. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups of 60 cases: aroma solution users and aroma placebo users and they received 2-3 drops of inhaler aroma solution or aroma placebo on the skin of forearm, 3 times a day for 6 weeks. The data collection tool was a questionnaire included socio-demographical characteristics and female sexual function index (FSFI). The primary outcome was the mean score of sexual function after intervention in the study groups.  Data was analyzed by SPSS software (version 21) and covariance analysis test, chi-square, for trend chi-square, and One-way ANOVA tests. The analysis was done based on intention-to-treat. PResults: Mean total score of sexual function at baseline in aromatherapy, and placebo groups were 18.4±5.4 and 15.8±5.7, respectively that increased to 22.9±3.3 and 17.2±4.2 in aroma and placebo groups, respectively after intervention. Covariance analysis test by controlling the effect of confounding factors showed significant differences in total score (P<0.001) and all sub domains of sexual function (P<0.003) except pain during intercourse in aromatherapy group compared with placebo group.
Conclusion: Combined inhaler aromatherapy improves sexual function in postmenopausal women.


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