Bladder & Urinary Tract Conditions

Acupuncture for Bladder & Urinary Tract Conditions

Acupuncture for Bladder & Urinary Tract Conditions

Numerous conditions can affect the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract, with some specific to men, others to women, and some affecting both sexes.

Symptoms of overactive bladder and recurrent UTIs can greatly affect the quality of life of those affected.

Always seek prompt medical advice if you notice blood in the urine, pain on urination, inability to urinate or uncontrollable urine flow. If left untreated, urinary problems can lead to more serious kidney damage.

Bladder & Urinary Tract Signs & Symptoms

  • Overactive bladder: frequent urge to urinate, incontinence
  • Urinary retention: incomplete urination, slow or hesitant urine stream
  • Chronic prostatitis: pain or burning sensation when urinating, difficulty urinating, pain in the groin and pelvis
  • Nocturia: frequent urination at night
  • Recurrent UTIs: frequent urge to urinate, pain or burning during urination, fatigue

What Does The Research Say?

The following insights are obtained from scientific studies, systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Bladder Conditions.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific research on Bladder Conditions. It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.


2021, Jun 4

Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for urinary retention after hysterectomy

There is insufficient evidence that acupuncture can increase the patient's maximal flow rate (MFR), bladder function recovery rate (BR), and urinary tract infection rate (UIR). However, acupuncture can effectively improve the post voided residual urine (PVR), maximal cystometric capacity, and bladder capacity for first voiding desire values of patients with urinary retention after hysterectomy. Although limited due to the quality and methodological limitations of the included studies, acupuncture can still be used as an effective and safe treatment for women with urinary retention after hysterectomy.

Zhao, Q., Yan, C., Dan, M., & Jia, H. Full Article

European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

2021, Feb

Efficacy of acupuncture for urinary incontinence in middle-aged and elderly women: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Based on this study, acupuncture intervention of stress urinary incontinence in middle-aged and elderly women can improve the clinical effectiveness, reduce the urine leakage in pad test and ICIQ-SF score. More high-quality studies with large sample size are required for further verification.

Yang N, Ge X, Ye J, Liu Q, Wu Y, Yan H, Han X. Full Article

The Brazilian Journal of Nursing

2021, Jan

Effects of acupuncture in patients with chronic kidney disease: a systematic review
The Brazilian Journal of Nursing Brazilian Nursing Association

This study highlighted the efficacy of acupuncture for patients with chronic kidney disease. Not only does in alleviate symptoms related to kidney disease but also improve quality of life, fatigue and sleep patterns.

Melo GAA, Aguiar LL, Silva RA, Pereira FGF, Silva FLBD, Caetano JÁ. Full Article

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

2020, Nov

Acupuncture for recurrent urinary tract infection in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

Given the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance, the chance of achieving a composite cure with acupuncture therapies was greater than that with antibiotics. Acupuncture appeared to be beneficial for treatment and prophylaxis of rUTIs.

Qin X, Coyle ME, Yang L, Liang J, Wang K, Guo X, Zhang AL, Mao W, Lu C, Xue CC, Liu X Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2020, Jan 20

Effects of Acupuncture on Hospitalized Patients with Urinary Retention
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The results suggest that acupuncture is an effective treatment for urinary retention.Bladder postvoid residual urine volume (PVR) were significantly lower and strongly suggested that early application of acupuncture treatment should be considered in case of urinary retention.

Suhui Chen, Hua Sun, Hong Xu, Yamin Zhang, Huanyuan Wang Full Article

Acupuncture in Medicine

2019, Dec

Acupuncture for overactive bladder in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Acupuncture in Medicine British Medical Acupuncture Society

No significant differences in effectiveness or efficacy were found between acupuncture and drug or between verum and sham acupuncture, respectively. Further high-quality studies are required.

Mak TC, Chen HY, Cho WC Full Article


2018, Feb 23

Acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Acupuncture might have effect in decreasing the number of micturition episodes, incontinence episodes, and nocturia episodes. However, the evidence is insufficient to show the effect using acupuncture alone or the additional effect to drugs in treating OAB.

Zhao Y, Zhou J, Mo Q, Wang Y, Yu J, Liu Z. Full Article

Scientific Reports

2016, Oct 19

Network Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Acupuncture, Alpha-blockers and Antibiotics on Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Scientific Reports

Overall, rank tests and safety analyses indicate that electro-acupuncture/acupuncture may be recommended for the treatment of CP/CPPS.

Qin, Z., Wu, J., Tian, J. et al. Full Article


2016, Mar

Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

Overall, current evidence supports acupuncture as an effective treatment for CP/CPPS-induced symptoms, particularly in relieving pain. Based on the meta-analysis, acupuncture is superior to sham acupuncture in improving symptoms and Qof. Acupuncture might be similar to medicine (Levofloxacinand, Ibuprofen, and Tamsulosin) in its long-term effects, but evidence was limited due to high ROB among included trials as well as potential heterogeneity. Acupuncture is associated with rare and slightly adverse events.

Qin Z, Wu J, Zhou J, Liu Z. Full Article

Neurourology and Urodynamics

2016, Jan 6

The efficacy of acupuncture in managing patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: A systemic review and meta-analysis
Neurourology and Urodynamics

Acupuncture has promising efficacy for patients with CP/CPPS. Compared to standard medical treatment, it has better efficacy. Thus, it may also serve as a standard treatment option when available.

This study aimed to systemically review published randomized control trials that compared the efficacy of acupuncture with sham acupuncture or standard medical treatment as management for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). Full Article

International Urogynecology Journal

2016, Jan 6

The role of acupuncture in managing overactive bladder; a review of the literature
International Urogynecology Journal International Urogynecological Association

Overactive bladder (OAB) affects a considerable proportion of men and women. Thus there is increasing interest in the use of alternative medicine in the form of acupuncture. This literature review indicated the benefit of acupuncture to be comparable with antimuscarinic treatment.

Forde JC, Jaffe E, Stone BV, Te AE, Espinosa G, Chughtai B. Full Article

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

2015, Jun 4

Chinese herbal medicine for treating recurrent urinary tract infections in women
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Cochrane

Evidence from seven small studies suggested that CHM as an independent intervention or in conjunction with antibiotics may be beneficial for treating recurrent UTIs during the acute phase of infection and may reduce the recurrent UTI incidence for at least six months post‐treatment. CHM treatments specifically formulated for recurrent UTI may be more effective than herbal treatments designed to treat acute UTI. However, the small number and poor quality of the included studies meant that it was not possible to formulate robust conclusions on the use of CHM for recurrent UTI in women either alone or as an adjunct to antibiotics.

Flower A, Wang LQ, Lewith G, Liu JP, Li Q. Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2015, Jun 16

Efficacy of Acupuncture in Children with Nocturnal Enuresis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Based on the findings of this study, we cautiously suggest that acupuncture therapy could improve the clinical efficacy. However, the beneficial effect of acupuncture might be overstated due to low methodological qualities. Rigorous high quality RCTs are urgently needed.

Lv ZT, Song W, Wu J, et al. Full Article

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