Does acupuncture help hot flashes?

  • Liu Z & al.
  • Am J Obstet Gynecol
  • 17 Aug 2018

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Electroacupuncture is not effective in reducing menopausal symptoms after 8 weeks of treatment.

Why this matters

  • The menopausal transition is associated with hot flashes, fatigue, vaginal dryness, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
  • Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms but is associated with side effects.

Key results

  • Electroacupuncture did not result in improvement of symptoms after 8 weeks of treatment compared with sham treatment group.

Study design

  • Prospective, multicenter, randomized, participant-blinded trial in China.
  • Participants were recruited through advertisements.
  • Participants were randomly assigned to receive 24 electroacupuncture treatments (n=180) vs sham treatments (n=180).
  • Primary outcome was change from baseline in the Menopause Rating Scale at week 8.
  • Funding: the program of “the 12th Five-year’’ National Science and Technology Pillar Program by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China.

Limitations

  • Chinese population; therefore, results may not be generalizable.

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