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Research: Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)

June 2008
Acupuncture Treatment of Dysmenorrhea Resistant to Conventional Medical Treatment
Journal: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 227-230.
Abstract: We evaluated the effect of acupuncture on NSAID resistant dysmenorrhea related pain [measured according to Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)] in 15 consecutive patients. Pain was measured at baseline (T1), mid treatment (T2), end of treatment (T3) and 3 (T4) and 6 months (T5) after the end of treatment. Substantial reduction of pain and NSAID assumption was observed in 13 of 15 patients (87%). Pain intensity was significantly reduced with respect to baseline (average VAS = 8.5), by 64, 72, 60 or 53% at T2, T3, T4 or T5. Greater reduction of pain was observed for primary as compared with secondary dysmenorrhea. Average pain duration at baseline (2.6 days) was significantly reduced by 62, 69, 54 or 54% at T2, T3, T4 or T5. Average NSAID use was significantly reduced by 63, 74, 58 or 58% at T2, T3, T4 or T5, respectively, and ceased totally in 7 patients, still asymptomatic 6 months after treatment. Our findings suggest that acupuncture may be indicated to treat dysmenorrhea related pain, in particular in those subjects in whom NSAID or oral contraceptives are contraindicated or refused.
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