A systematic review of twenty-seven randomised controlled trials studying acupuncture for painful periods, and examining data from nearly 3000 women, has shown that compared with drug treatment or herbal medicine, acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction in pain. Overall, twelve studies concluded that acupuncture was more effective than pharmacological treatment. With respect to acupuncture style, studies using traditional acupuncture reported significantly better results than the herbal medicine groups in three trials. The author says that although the evidence is promising, more trials are called for to improve on flaws in those reviewed.
(Acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhoea: a systematic review. British Journal of Gynaecology, 8 March 2010.)