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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 1/2017

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 > Ausgabe 1/2017
Yang Xu, Wenli Zhao, Te Li, Huaien Bu, Zhimei Zhao, Ye Zhao, Shilin Song



Primary dysmenorrhoea (PD), defined as painful menses in women with normal pelvic anatomy, is one of the most common gynaecological syndromes. Acupoint-stimulation could potentially be an effective intervention for PD. Our aim was to determine the effectiveness of acupoint-stimulation compared with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NASIDs) in the treatment of PD.


Six databases were searched to December 2014. Sixteen studies involving 1679 PD patients were included. We included randomized controlled trials that compared acupoint-stimulation with NASIDs for the treatment of PD. The main outcomes assessed were clinical effectiveness rate, symptom score, visual analogue score, variation in peripheral blood prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and side effects. All analyses were performed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis statistical software.


(1) The total efficacy was better than control group: odds ratio = 5.57; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 3.96, 7.83; P < 0.00001; (2) The effect of intervention was positive in relieving the severity of PD symptoms: mean difference (MD) = 2.99; 95%CI = 2.49, 3.49; P < 0.00001; (3) No statistical difference existed between two groups in terms of a reduction in the VAS: MD = 1.24; 95%CI = −3.37, 5.85; P = 0.60; (4) The effect of intervention on the variation in peripheral blood PGF2α between two groups was positive: MD = 7.55; 95%CI = 4.29,10.82; P < 0.00001; (5) The side effects of control groups was more than the acupoint-stimulation group: OR = 0.03; 95%CI =0.00,0.22; P = 0.0005.


According to this article, acupoint-stimulation can relieve pain effectively in the treatment of PD and offers advantages in increasing the overall effectiveness.
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