Acupuncture may help treat dysmenorrhea

April 1, 2008

A course of acupuncture is a cost-effective and beneficial addition to usual care for dysmenorrhea.

A course of acupuncture is a cost-effective and beneficial addition to usual care for dysmenorrhea, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Claudia M. Witt, MD, of Charite University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study of 649 women, of whom 201 were randomized to receive 15 sessions of acupuncture over 3 months or to a control group that received only the usual care. Those who declined randomization also received acupuncture.

At the 3-month mark, patients in the acupuncture group reported lower average pain intensity than those in the control group: 3.1 versus 5.4 on a scale of zero to 10. Patients in the acupuncture group also reported better quality of life, but their treatment costs were higher.

Witt CM, Reinhold T, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture in patients with dysmenorrhea: a randomized study on clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in usual care. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;198:166.e1-.e8.