An American umbrella systematic review assessing the benefits of acupuncture for menopause symptoms, has concluded that evidence from randomised controlled trials supports its use. Data was taken from three systematic reviews covering over 1100 women, and from four randomised controlled trials covering 700 women. There were statistically significant differences associated with acupuncture treatment, either adjunctive or stand-alone, compared with no acupuncture, for reducing vasomotor symptoms eg hot flushes and night sweats, and improving health-related quality of life. Follow-up times varied but some studies demonstrated reductions in hot flush frequency lasting 12 months or more. Differences were smaller or not statistically significant when acupuncture was compared with sham acupuncture.
The authors conclude that the evidence supports the use of acupuncture to treat menopausal vasomotor symptoms, although the clinical benefits may be partly due to non-specific effects.
(Management of Menopause Symptoms with Acupuncture: An Umbrella Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, April 2018.)