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Jan 2019, Vol 7, Issue 1
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Original Article
A Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Panax Ginseng on Menopausal Women's Sexual Function
Zahra Ghorbani1, Mojgan Mirghafourvand2
1Student in Midwifery, Student Research Committee, Midwifery Department, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran
2Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

IJWHR 2019; 7: 124-133
DOI: 10.15296/ijwhr.2019.20
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Keywords : Panax ginseng, Menopause, Quality of life, Sexuality, Aging
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Objectives: An increase in life expectancy results in the aging population growth. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and adverse events of ginseng that could be used as a herbal medicine in women with sexual dysfunction.

Materials and Methods: The authors of this study searched Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, ProQuest, Google Scholar, and Persian databases without a time limitation until May 2018 and examined all the randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared the effect of different types of ginseng on sexual function of menopausal women as compared to the placebo controls. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies. The heterogeneity was determined using the I2 index. In addition, standardized mean difference (SMD) was used instead of mean differences (MD) and a random effect was reported instead of fixed effect in meta-analysis.

Results: The eligibility criteria were found in five RCTs. All the included studies were placebo-controlled. Two trials had a parallel design while three studies used a crossover design. Although four trials indicated that ginseng significantly improved sexual function, they didn’t report any treatment effect compared to the placebo group. Based on the results of meta-analysis obtained from five studies including 531 women, there was no statistically significant effect of ginseng on female sexual dysfunction (FSD) compared to the placebo control group (SMD: 0.26; 95% CI: -0.26 to 0.76). Nonetheless, there was a considerable heterogeneity among the studies (I2 = 81%; P < 0.0001). Moreover, all the included studies assessed adverse events, but in three of the RCTs, there was no significant difference between the placebo and ginseng groups.

Conclusions: The evidence regarding ginseng as a therapeutic agent for sexual dysfunction is unjustifiable. Rigorous studies seem warranted in this respect.

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