A Randomized Controlled Trial of Single Point Acupuncture in Primary Dysmenorrhea



A Randomized Controlled Trial of Single Point Acupuncture in Primary Dysmenorrhea




Research Type




BACKGROUND: Acupuncture is often used for primary dysmenorrhea. But there is no convincing evidence due to low methodological quality. We aim to assess immediate effect of acupuncture at specific acupoint compared with unrelated acupoint and nonacupoint on primary dysmenorrhea. METHODS: The Acupuncture Analgesia Effect in Primary Dysmenorrhoea-II is a multicenter controlled trial conducted in six large hospitals of China. Patients who met inclusion criteria were randomly assigned to classic acupoint (N = 167), unrelated acupoint (N = 167), or non-acupoint (N = 167) group on a 1:1:1 basis. They received three sessions with electro-acupuncture at a classic acupoint (Sanyinjiao, SP6), or an unrelated acupoint (Xuanzhong, GB39), or nonacupoint location, respectively. The primary outcome was subjective pain as measured by a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS). Measurements were obtained at 0, 5, 10, 30, and 60 minutes following the first intervention. In addition, patients scored changes of general complaints using Cox retrospective symptom scales (RSS-Cox) and 7-point verbal rating scale (VRS) during three menstrual cycles. Secondary outcomes included VAS score for average pain, pain total time, additional in-bed time, and proportion of participants using analgesics during three menstrual cycles. FINDINGS: Five hundred and one people underwent random assignment. The primary comparison of VAS scores following the first intervention demonstrated that classic acupoint group was more effective both than unrelated acupoint (-4.0 mm, 95% CI -7.1 to -0.9, P = 0.010) and nonacupoint (-4.0 mm, 95% CI -7.0 to -0.9, P = 0.012) groups. However, no significant differences were detected among the three acupuncture groups for RSS-Cox or VRS outcomes. The per-protocol analysis showed similar pattern. No serious adverse events were noted. CONCLUSION: Specific acupoint acupuncture produced a statistically, but not clinically, significant effect compared with unrelated acupoint and nonacupoint acupuncture in primary dysmenorrhea patients. Future studies should focus on effects of multiple points acupuncture on primary dysmenorrhea.



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has health condition studied

Menstruation Disturbances



has study population number


has duration

3 Days

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