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Is Acupuncture a Benefit for Treating Women’s Health Issues?

Is Acupuncture a Benefit for Treating Women’s Health Issues?
July 10
13:24 2017

Women face a whole host of medical and emotional conditions that are not only foreign to most men, but may sometimes lead women to seek treatments that many men would never consider.

However, there a host of conditions experienced by both that sometimes leads to seeking treatments not considered normal by many doctors. One of those common conditions is back pain. Women face back pain for a number of reasons including picking up children, carrying laundry, picking up clothes, washing the floor and even from being pregnant.

A growing number of women don’t like to take muscle relaxers or strong pain pills as they interfere with their hectic and busy daily routines. Thus, some turn to alternative cures such as acupuncture. This is true for men also.

I have 11 of my 23 spinal disks damaged for various reasons. I live with constant back pain and unfortunately, I have a genetic trait that makes me immune to about 80% of pain killers and stimulants. I was surprised with a spinal doctor told me the only things he could recommend were a good chiropractor, which I have, and acupuncture. I’ve always been a skeptic about things like acupuncture, but was talked into giving it a try. At my first appointment, I let the acupuncturist know that I didn’t believe in it, but was open to try. He told me that sometimes it takes several treatments to really work, so I really didn’t expect any relief of my back pain on the first visit.

I have to admit that I was shocked at how I felt afterwards. A lot of the tightness in my back was gone and it was the first good night sleep I had in years. So, take it from a former skeptic, acupuncture does work on things like back pain. Unfortunately, most healthcare insurance plans don’t cover this procedure.

But what about other, more female related issues? Does acupuncture work for other medical conditions?

A pair of studies show that perhaps and perhaps not.

One study, conducted at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing, looked at women with stress urinary incontinence. This is when you involuntarily dribble urine when you sneeze, cough laugh or do anything exerting physical energy like exercising. As many women get older, they sometimes lose control of their bladder, which is often extremely embarrassing and can be humiliating. This is why products like adult-diapers (Depends) are such big sellers in many stores.

In the one study, researchers looked at 504 women with stress urinary incontinence. They divided them into two groups. One received electroacupuncture where electrical stimulation is sent through the acupuncture needles and the other groups was treated with a false electroacupuncture. Each group was given three treatments a week for six weeks. Afterwards, each woman underwent a one-hour stress test. It was found that the group that was receiving the real electroacupuncture had about 10 grams less of urine leakage than when they started the project. The other group had only a minor difference. The researchers concluded that women with stress urinary incontinence may find that acupuncture is a reasonable option to consider.

In the second study, at Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine in Harbin, China, they looked at 1,000 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a common cause of infertility. They divided the women into four groups. One group was given acupuncture and clomiphene, a fertility drug. The second group was given acupuncture plus a placebo drug. The third group received false acupuncture and the fertility drug and the fourth group received false acupuncture and a placebo drug.

The test ran from 2012 to 2015. In that time, about 200 women became pregnant and gave birth to a child. Those who received the fertility drug had the highest rate of pregnancy than those given placebos. As for acupuncture, the researchers found very little effect and too little to warrant any benefit.

Does acupuncture help treat women’s medical issues? Perhaps some issues might benefit from acupuncture but others may not. It comes down to making a personal choice.

 

 

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