Period Pain & Endometriosis

Acupuncture for Period Pain & Endometriosis

Acupuncture for Period Pain & Endometriosis

Period pain is experienced by most women throughout their menstrual years. While many women take painkillers to manage their period pain, Chinese medicine regards that a healthy period should not be painful.

Minor cramps and discomfort from time to time is not uncommon, however, experiencing strong pain that affects day-to-day activities is not normal.

Period pain without any identifiable medical cause may be diagnosed as primary dysmenorrhoea or caused by endometriosis and less commonly fibroids or adenomyosis.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain before and/or during the period
  • Dark or brownish menstrual blood
  • Menstrual blood clots 
  • Mid-cycle (ovulation) pain
  • Pain during intercourse

What Does The Research Say?

The following insights are obtained from scientific studies, systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Period Pain & Endometriosis.

Scientific References

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

Frontiers in Medicine

2021, Feb 22

The Relationship of Acupuncture Use to the Endometriosis Risk in Females With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Real-World Evidence From Population-Based Health Claims
Frontiers in Medicine

Findings suggest that adding acupuncture to conventional therapy may decrease the subsequent endometriosis risk in female RA patients. Prospective randomized trials are recommended to further clarify whether the association revealed in this study supports a causal link.

Chen Wei-Jen, Livneh Hanoch, Hsu Chien-Hui, Hu Ying-To, Lai Ning-Sheng, Guo How-Ran, Tsai Tzung-Yi Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2020, Apr 29

Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Primary Dysmenorrhea: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Acupuncture and moxibustion seem to be effective and safe approaches in treatment of primary dysmenorrhea; yet, the methodological quality of most of the studies and the quality of evidence were low. Thus, additional studies are required to further confirm these results.

Jun Yang, Jun Xiong, Ting Yuan, Xue Wang, Yunfeng Jiang, Xiaohong Zhou, Kai Liao, Lingling Xu Full Article


2018, Jun

The efficacy and safety of acupuncture in women with primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

The results of this study suggest that acupuncture might reduce menstrual pain and associated symptoms more effectively compared to no treatment or NSAIDs, and the efficacy could be maintained during a short-term follow-up period. Despite limitations due to the low quality and methodological restrictions of the included studies, acupuncture might be used as an effective and safe treatment for females with primary dysmenorrhea.

Woo, H. L., Ji, H. R., Pak, Y. K., Lee, H., Heo, S. J., Lee, J. M., & Park, K. S. Full Article

International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics

2018, Jun 26

Systematic review and meta-analysis of complementary treatments for women with symptomatic endometriosis
International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics

Numerous complementary treatments have been used to alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis, but only acupuncture has demonstrated a significant improvement in outcomes. Nevertheless, other approaches demonstrated positive trends toward improving symptoms; this should encourage investigators to design controlled studies to support their applicability.

Mira, T.A., Buen, M.M., Borges, M.G., Yela, D.A. and Benetti-Pinto, C.L. Full Article

Reproductive Health

2018, May 21

A review of the risk factors, genetics and treatment of endometriosis in Chinese women: a comparative update
Reproductive Health

Although Western medicine has been studied and validated more extensively for the treatment of endometriosis, both TCM and Western medicine are used equally in the treatment of endometriosis in Chinese women.

Dai, Y., Li, X., Shi, J. et al. Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2017, Dec 5

Electroacupuncture is Beneficial for Primary Dysmenorrhea: The Evidence from Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The findings of our study suggested that EA can provide considerable immediate analgesia effect for PD. Additional studies with rigorous design and larger sample sizes are needed.

Si-yi Yu, Zheng-tao Lv, Qing Zhang, Sha Yang, Xi Wu, You-ping Hu, Fang Zeng, Fan-rong Liang, Jie Yang Full Article


2017, Oct 27

Effects of acupuncture for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis
PLOS One Public Library of Science

Few randomised, blinded clinical trials have addressed the efficacy of acupuncture in treating endometriosis-related pain. Nonetheless, the current literature suggests that acupuncture reduces pain and serum CA-125 levels, regardless of the control intervention used.

Yang Xu , Wenli Zhao , Te Li, Ye Zhao, Huaien Bu , Shilin Song Full Article

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

2017, Aug 31

Effects of acupoint-stimulation for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea compared with NSAIDs: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 RCTs
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

The study indicated that acupoint-stimulation can relieve pain effectively for primary dysmenorrhoe patients. Compared with NASIDS group patients, acupuncture patients had less side effects and it offers advantages in increasing the overall effectiveness

Xu, Y., Zhao, W., Li, T. et al. Full Article

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies

2015, Oct

As Acupressure Decreases Pain, Acupuncture May Improve Some Aspects of Quality of Life for Women with Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute

Acupressure showed evidence of pain relief while acupuncture improved both the mental and the physical components of quality of life. In conclusion, physiotherapists should consider using acupuncture and acupressure to treat primary dysmenorrhea, but a need exists for higher quality, randomized, blinded, sham-controlled trials with adequate sample sizes to establish clearly the effects of these modalities.

Abaraogu UO, Tabansi-Ochuogu CS Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2013, Feb 28

Acupuncture or Acupressure at the Sanyinjiao (SP6) Acupoint for the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Meta-Analysis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

This study indicated that acupuncture in particularly acupuncture point SP6 has significantly decrease dysmenorrhea symptoms compared to no acupuncture group.

Ma-Na Chen, Li-Wei Chien, Chi-Feng Liu Full Article

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