Stretching exercises are as effective as mefenamic acid in primary dysmenorrhea

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Stretching exercises are as effective as mefenamic acid in primary dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea poses as a significant gynecologic disorder in women with an increasing prevalence of 75% in adolescents. Dysmenorrhea cramps can produce uterine pressure more than 60 mmHg that induces pain.

Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to ease this pain, due to their side effects and lack of response in some individuals, other approaches like exercise have been considered. Motahari-Tabari  N, et al.,  compared the effect of stretching exercises and mefenamic acid on the reduction of pain and menstruation characteristics in primary dysmenorrhea.

The randomized clinical trial included 122 female students with moderate to severe dysmenorrhea and categorized in either the exercise or mefenamic acid group. The duration of the exercise program was 15 minutes, three times a week with a five-minute warm-up and six belly and pelvic stretching exercises for 10 minutes. The mefenamic acid group obtained 250 mg capsules every eight hours from the onset of menstruation till the pain relief. Both interventions were executed during two consecutive menstrual cycles. A 10 cm visual analog scale (VAS) was used to measure the pain intensity.

The results revealed that the mean pain intensity was significantly higher in the exercise group only in the first cycle (p=0.058). In the second cycle, the mean difference in pain reduction in the exercise group was higher than the mefenamic group compared to the start of the study (p=0.056) and in the first cycle (p=0.007). No significant difference in the severity and duration of pain between the groups (p>0.050) was observed.

Thus, it culminated that the stretching exercises were as effective as the mefenamic acid in the primary dysmenorrhea treatment. Also, the effect of exercise on easing the menstruation pain increases over time.


Oman Med J.

Link to the source:

The original title of the article:

Comparison of the Effect of Stretching Exercises and Mefenamic Acid on the Reduction of Pain and Menstruation Characteristics in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Randomized Clinical Trial


Narges Motahari-Tabari  et al.

Translated  by:


Therapeutic, Mefenamic acid, Stretching exercise, Primary Dysmenorrhea, Belly, Pelvis, NSAIDs, Randomized Clinical Trial, Efficacy, VAS
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