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J Reprod Infertil. 2014 Jan;15(1):41-8.

Effects of fenugreek seed on the severity and systemic symptoms of dysmenorrhea.

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Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran ; Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Paramedicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Primary dysmenorrhea is a prevalent disorder and its unfavorable effects deteriorates the quality of life in many people across the world. Based on some evidence on the characteristics of fenugreek as a medical plant with anti-inflammato-ry and analgesic properties, this double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial was conducted. The main purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of fenugreek seeds on the severity of primary dysmenorrhea among students.


Unmarried Students were randomly assigned to two groups who received fenugreek (n = 51) or placebo (n = 50). For the first 3 days of menstruation, 2-3 capsules containing fenugreek seed powder (900 mg) were given to the subjects three times daily for two consecutive menstrual cycles. Pain severity was evaluated using a visual analog scale and systemic symptoms were assessed using a multidimensional verbal scale.


Pain severity at baseline did not differ significantly between the two groups. Pain severity was significantly reduced in both groups after the intervention; however, the fenugreek group experienced significantly larger pain reduction (p < 0.001). With respect to the duration of pain, there was no meaningful difference between the two cycles in the placebo group (p = 0.07) but in the fenugreek group, the duration of pain decreased between the two cycles (p < 0.001). Systemic symptoms of dysmenorrhea (fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of energy, syncope) decreased in the fenugreek seed group (p < 0.05). No side effects were reported in the fenugreek group.


These data suggest that prescription of fenugreek seed powder during menstruation can reduce the severity of dysmenorrhea.


Dysmenorrhea; Fenugreek; Herbal medicine


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