Recently, Holger and colleagues  reviewed randomized, controlled trials on the effects of yoga (posture, breathing, and meditation) on psychological, somatic, vasomotor and urogenital symptoms related to menopause. While they began with 207 studies, only five studies were included in the qualitative analysis – mainly ones in Europe and India – and three of these had a high risk of bias [2-4]. One of the two studies with a low risk of bias [5,6] was not included in the meta-analysis. The types of yoga practices, frequency of sessions and length of follow-up varied between the studies. The outcomes measured were mostly in the short term, i.e. 8 weeks, with only one randomized, controlled trial measuring the outcomes at 20 weeks. They found no statistically significant effects of yoga on menopausal symptoms except for psychological symptoms, where a moderate short-term benefit was found; however, even that disappeared when subgroup analyses (yoga vs. control and yoga vs. exercise) were conducted. The authors acknowledged that their conclusions differed from the conclusions of previous systematic reviews where yoga was shown to have moderate benefits for psychological and vasomotor symptoms. They attributed the difference to the inclusion of only randomized, controlled trials and new studies.
Senior Consultant Gynecologist, Fortis Escort Hospital, Jaipur, India