Monday, March 28, 2011

Sexual Health and Yoga

Despite the abundance of non empirical data suggesting that yoga and sex are not only linked but potentially mutually beneficial, very little research has been conducted to substantiate these claims. Our careful review of the literature revealed only one controlled study of yoga as a treatment for sexual dysfunction.

Dhikav, Karmarker, Gupta, and Anand (2007) successfully treated Indian men with premature ejaculation with yoga. Premature ejaculation traditionally falls into the medical domain and is most often treated with serotonergic anti-depressants (Waldinger, 2008). The 68 men who participated in the study were offered a choice between the yoga-based, nonpharmacological treatment and the more traditional pharmacological intervention fluoxetine (Prozac). In the yoga group, men were given a prescribed set of ¯asanas and pr¯an¯ay¯amas to practice for 1 hour each day. Differential relaxation techniques, as well as perineal and pubococcygeal
exercises, were included in the program. Notably, there was no component of sex therapy or sex education to men receiving the yoga intervention. Remarkably, all 38 men participating in the yoga group had both subjective and statistically significant improvements in their intra ejaculatory latencies. There were no side effects or dropouts in this treatment arm. These data provide an excellent example of the potential usefulness of yoga as a nonpharmacological treatment for sexual disorders, and in a compelling way, suggest that yoga can be as effective as traditional western medical approaches.

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