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Acupuncture reduced postmenopausal symptoms in a sham controlled clinical trial

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms and other gynecological conditions. This study aimed to investigate whether acupuncture has an effect on menopausal symptoms and to explore whether this effect is related to changes in hormone levels.

Patients and treatments: A total of 53 postmenopausal women were alternately assigned into acupuncture (n=27) and sham acupuncture (n=26) treatments. Menopausal symptoms were assessed using Menopause Rating Scale. The serum estradiol, follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) levels were measured before the first treatment session and after the last treatment session.

Results: After treatment, total menopause score, and the somatic and psychological subscale scores were significantly lower in the acupuncture group than the sham group. The severity of hot flushes was significantly decreased after treatment in acupuncture group. In the acupuncture group LH levels were lower and estradiol levels were significantly higher than sham group after treatment, but there was no difference in FSH levels.

Conclusion: Acupuncture is effective in reducing menopausal complaints when compared to sham acupuncture and can be considered as an alternative therapy in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Source: Sunay D, et al. The effect of acupuncture on postmenopausal symptoms and reproductive hormones: a sham controlled clinical trial. Acupuncture in Medicine 2011;29:27-31.

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