International collaborators including the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and Western Sydney University, Australia, have conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to study the potential benefits of acupuncture treatment for endometriosis. Six randomised controlled trials, from Australia, the US, Brazil, Austria and China, covering 371 women, were included in the analysis.
Acupuncture for endometriosis reduced the severity of menstrual and pelvic pain when compared to non-specific acupuncture, usual care, and Chinese herbal medicine. Reductions in pelvic pain severity were clinically relevant, with reductions in visual analogue scores for pelvic pain exceeding 20 %. This is well in excess of the minimum clinically important difference. Although a meta-analysis could not be performed, studies generally reported greater reductions in analgesic usage in the acupuncture versus comparison groups.
The authors conclude with a recommendation for more high quality acupuncture trials using larger sample sizes.
(Acupuncture for endometriosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Integrative Medicine Research, December 2023.)