Resistance training improves primary dysmenorrhea symptoms in young girls: A randomized controlled trial

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Exercise physiology, Marvdasht branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran


Introduction: Primary dysmenorrhea is defined as difficulty in menstrual flow in the absence of any pelvic pathology. It is the most common gynaecological problem among adolescent females. The effects of resistance training (RT) on primary dysmenorrhea are not well known. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of RT on primary dysmenorrhea in young girls.
Material & Methods: The present quasi experimental study included 20 girls of age 20-23 years with primary dysmenorrheal were selected from Marvdasht branch, Islamic Azad University. The subjects were randomly divided into experimental group (n=10) or control group (n=10). The RT program was composed of exercises for different body segments (trunk, upper and lower limbs) that were performed with 10-12 maximal repetitions at 30-65% of 1-RM. The RT consisted of 50-60 min of circuit weight training per day, 3 days a week, for 8 weeks. Moo’s Menstrual Distress Questionnaire was used to evaluate psychological and physical symptoms of dysmenorrheal. Estrogen and progesterone levels and psychological and physical symptoms of dysmenorrhea were measured before and after the intervention. Paired sample t-test and independent sample t-test were used to compute changes in the variables before and after the intervention.
Results: Physical premenstrual symptoms were significantly reduced (11.0 ± 5.1 vs. 6.6 ± 3.9; P = 0.001) while estrogen (6.0 ± 4.6 vs. 8.2 ± 5.7 ng/ml; P = 0.012) and progesterone levels (6.6 ± 2.8 vs. 8.0 ± 5.2 ng/ml; P = 0.017) were significantly increased after the intervention compare to the control group. For psychological premenstrual symptoms (10.4 ± 6.4 vs. 10.4 ± 5.1; P = 0.13) no significant changes were observed in response to 8 weeks of RT.
Conclusions: Primary dysmenorrhea is a common complaint among young women. RT seems to be a practical method for reducing primary dysmenorrhea.