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Treating primary dysmenorrhea with acupuncture: Review and meta analysis

Researchers at Kyung Hee University in Korea and Dongguk University Los Angeles assessed the efficacy and safety of acupuncture on primary dysmenorrhea. They published their findings in the journal Medicine.

  • Primary dysmenorrhea is cramping pain during menstruation without any identifiable pelvic pathology.
  • In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers gathered randomized control trials (RCTs) that measured pain intensity and related outcomes to evaluate the effect of acupuncture in women with primary dysmenorrhea.
  • The review included 60 RCTs, while the meta-analysis included 49 RCTs.
  • The results showed that manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture were more effective at reducing menstrual pain compared to no treatment.
  • Manual acupuncture and warm acupuncture were also more effective than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at reducing menstrual pain.
  • Some studies also demonstrated that the efficacy of acupuncture was retained after a short-term of follow-up.
  • The results of this study suggest that acupuncture might reduce menstrual pain and associated symptoms more effectively compared to no treatment or NSAIDs.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture might be used as an effective and safe treatment for women with primary dysmenorrhea.

For more studies on natural treatments for dysmenorrhea, visit

Journal Reference:

Woo HL, Ji HR, Pak YK, Lee HJ, Heo SJ, Lee JM, Park KS. THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF ACUPUNCTURE IN WOMEN WITH PRIMARY DYSMENORRHEA. Medicine. June 2018; 97(23): e11007. DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011007

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