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.
© 1987 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists