Effect of fennel vaginal cream on sexual function in postmenopausal women: A double blind randomized controlled trial
Parvin Abedi*, Mahin Najafian**, Masumeh Yaralizadeh***, Foroogh Namjoyan**** *PhD in Community Nutrition, Associate Professor in Midwifery Department, Menopause Andropause Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran **Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Menopause Andropause Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran ***MS.c in Midwifery, Midwifery Department, Menopause Andropause Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran ****Department of Pharmacology, Marine Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Correspondence to: Masumeh Yaralizadeh Phone: +989163132793, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: October 4th, 2016 – Accepted: March 11th, 2018
Abstract Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of fennel on sexual function in postmenopausal women. It was a randomized controlled trial in 60 postmenopausal women with sexual dysfunction who were randomly assigned to two groups receiving either fennel vaginal cream (n=30) or placebo (n=30). Vaginal atrophy in the women was assessed using symptoms such as pallor, dryness, dyspareunia, itching and burning. The pH of the vagina and cytology of the vaginal mucosa were also measured at baseline and 8 weeks after the intervention. All participants were requested to fill out the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) at baseline and after 8 weeks. The intervention group was requested to use fennel vaginal cream (5 grams) every night, while the control group used placebo each night for 8 weeks. The data were analyzed using the independent t-test and Chi-square, MannWhitney and Wilcoxon tests. All areas of sexual function including arousal, lubrication, orgasm, sexual satisfaction and pain improved in both fennel and placebo groups after 8 weeks; however, the differences in the fennel group were more evident (p<0.05). The total FSFI score was significantly higher in the fennel group compared to the control group (8.2 ±9.4 and 8.03±10.36 before the intervention and changing to 33.79±0.7 and 18.99±1.09 after the intervention in the fennel and placebo groups, respectively; p<0.001). Discussion: According to our results, fennel vaginal cream is an effective means of improving sexual activity in postmenopausal women. The use of this product in women who have sexual dysfunction and contraindications for hormone therapy is recommended.