Effect of Aromatherapy with Essential oil of Lavandula Angustifolia Mill Citrus Bergamia and Mindfulness Based Intervention on Sexual Function, Anxiety, and Depression in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Factorial Design

Mandana Mojtehedi, Hanieh Salehi Pourmehr, Alireza Ostadrahimi, Solmaz Asnaashari, Khalil Esmaeilpour, Azizeh Farshbaf Khalili


Background: Due to the importance of psychological support for women during menopause as a period with a high prevalence of mental health problems, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of the essential oil of lavender‑Bergamot (La‑Ber) and Mindfulness‑Based Intervention (MBI) on sexual function, anxiety (primary outcome), and depression score (secondary outcome) in postmenopausal women with sexual dysfunction.

Materials and Methods: This controlled randomized trial with a factorial design was performed on 132 postmenopausal women. Participants were randomly allocated into four equal groups: Aromatherapy‑Routine Care (Aroma‑RC), MBI‑Placebo (MBI‑P), Aromatherapy‑MBI (Aroma‑MBI), or Routine Care‑Placebo (RC‑P). Two to three drops of La‑Ber or a similar placebo were inhaled three times a day for 8 weeks. Eight sessions of MBI intervention were conducted. At the end of the intervention and eight weeks afterward, the outcomes were assessed.

Results: The sexual function score improved significantly in Aroma‑MBI (adjusted Mean Difference [aMD]: 2.4, 95% CI: 0.01 to 4.80) and MBI‑P (aMD: 2.6, 95% CI: 0.2 to 5.1) groups compared to the RC‑P group. The anxiety score was reduced in the Aroma‑RC group at the end of the intervention (aMD: ‑4.12, 95% CI: ‑7.41 to ‑0.72; p = 0.020) and eight weeks later as well as in the Aroma‑MBI group. In terms of depression, the mean score of depression was significantly lower than the RC‑P group in the Aroma‑RC group at the end of the intervention (p = 0.011).

Conclusions: MBI and aromatherapy seem effective on sexual function and menopausal anxiety. MBI improves sexual function, while aromatherapy ameliorated anxiety and depression.


Anxiety, behavior therapy, complementary therapies, depression, menopause, psychological, sexual

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