The effectiveness of acupuncture in managing the pain of primary dysmenorrhea was investigated in a randomized and controlled prospective clinical study. Forty-three women were followed for one year in one of four groups: the Real Acupuncture group was given appropriate acupuncture and the Placebo Acupuncture group was given random point acupuncture on a weekly basis for three menstrual cycles; the Standard Control group was followed without medical or acupuncture intervention; the Visitation Control group had monthly nonacupuncture visits with the project physician for three cycles. In the Real Acupuncture group, 10 of 11 (90.9%) women showed improvement; in the Placebo Acupuncture group, 4 of 11 (36.4%); in the Standard Control group, 2 of 11 (18.2%); and in the Visitation Control group 1 of 10 (10%). There was a 41% reduction of analgesis medication used by the women in the Real Acupuncture group after their treatment series, and no change or increased use of medication seen in the other groups.
(C) 1987 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists