Objective: A previous open study demonstrated that French maritime pine bark extract (PycnogenolR) may soothe menstrual pain in dysmenorrhea.
We thus investigated the effects of PycnogenolR on menstrual pain in a double-blind study.
Study Design: Subjects were 116 women aged 18-48 years. The first 2 menstrual cycles served as a control period; during the subsequent 2 menstrual cycles women received either a Pycnogenol supplement (60 mg/day) or a placebo in identical capsule form. One further cycle was monitored after cessation of capsule administration.
Women were assigned to either a group with low menstrual pain or a group with dysmenorrhea. The criterion for assignment to the first group was absence of analgesic [pain relieving] medication.
Results: In women with low menstrual pain, no significant difference for lowering of pain scores was found. In contrast, women with dysmenorrhea:
Conclusion: The analgesic-sparing effect of PycnogenolR increases with duration of supplementation and benefits persist even after discontinuation.
Source: The Journal of Reproductive Medicine. May 2008;53(5):338-46. PMID: 18567279, by Suzuki N, Uebaba K, Kohama T, Moniwa N, Kanayama N, Koike K. Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]