A preliminary report comparing the effect of Asafoetida with oral contraceptive on polycystic ovarian syndrome in a double-blind randomized trial

Document Type : Short communication


1 Department of Traditional Persian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Traditional Medicine Clinical Trial Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

6 School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of infertility and endocrine disorders in women of childbearing age. In Persian medicine, Ferula assafoetida L. (Asafoetida) was recommended for treating PCOS. The present study was conducted to compare the effect of Asafoetida with oral contraceptive tablets on PCOS patients.
Materials and Methods: Patients with PCOS (n=30) were enrolled in a double-blind randomized clinical trial. On Day 5 of the menstrual cycle, patients received two periods of 21-day treatment, with 7 days rest between the two treatments. On a daily basis, half of the patients (n=15) received Asafoetida (1 g), and the rest received low dose oral contraceptive (LD; one tablet). Menstrual status, anthropometric characteristics, hematology and biochemistry parameters, ovarian ultrasound examination and hirsutism were evaluated prior to the initiation of the experiment and 14 days after the end of treatment. The occurrence of menstrual cycles and pregnancy was assessed eight months after the end of treatment.
Results: The incidence of pregnancy was greater in patients who received Asafoetida compared to those who received LD (p=0.019). The time intervals between menstrual cycles became shorter in both groups (p<0.05). The occurrence of regular menstrual cycles remained longer in the Asafoetida compared to the LD group (p=0.001). Concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL and LDL were significantly increased after treating with LD (p<0.05).
Conclusion: In PCOS patients, the occurrence of regular menstrual cycles and the incidence of pregnancy were improved following treatment with Asafoetida. This medicament could be considered a safe treatment for patients with PCOS.


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