A new report reviews the evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of endometriosis-related pain.
Endometriosis is a painful condition that affects more than 6.3 million American women and millions more worldwide. The condition occurs when tissue from the uterus grows in other regions of the body, like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the bowel.
Symptoms can include swelling and bleeding of the uterine tissue, pain, feeling sick and queasy, painful sex, and infertility. Sometimes, medical diagnosis can be challenging because the signs and symptoms mimic various other female illnesses including fibroids.
Acupuncture has been used in the pain management and could be an alternative strategy for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain. The study included 99 women between the ages of 13-40 with an endometriosis diagnosis. All of the studies had different research design and methods for pain evaluation. Similarities included 7 to 12 needle insertions per subject in one session and 15 to 25 minutes during which the needles were placed. The areas of the needles were in the lower back or pelvic area, feet, hands, or legs.
The number of treatments ranged from 9 to 16 with patients receiving one to two treatments per week. Patients reported reductions in pain in all of the studies, regardless of design. Since acupuncture is noted as an overall safe treatment, it can definitely be a promising method for coping with endometriosis pain. As always, it is important to talk with your doctor about your specific condition and treatment possibilities.
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