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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 227-230
Original Article

Acupuncture Treatment of Dysmenorrhea Resistant to Conventional Medical Treatment

1Centro di Medicina del Dolore ‘Mario Tiengo’ Osp Maggiore Policlinico Mangiagalli Regina Elena, Milano, Italy
2Dipartimento di Prevenzione ASL Provincia Milano 1, Italy
3Centro collaborante OMS per la Medicina Tradizionale – Università degli Studi Milano, Italy
4Centro per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica, Viale A. Volta 171, 50133 Florence, Italy

Received 24 July 2006; Accepted 16 January 2007

Copyright © 2008 V. Iorno et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We evaluated the effect of acupuncture on NSAID resistant dysmenorrhea related pain [measured according to Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)] in 15 consecutive patients. Pain was measured at baseline (T1), mid treatment (T2), end of treatment (T3) and 3 (T4) and 6 months (T5) after the end of treatment. Substantial reduction of pain and NSAID assumption was observed in 13 of 15 patients (87%). Pain intensity was significantly reduced with respect to baseline (average VAS = 8.5), by 64, 72, 60 or 53% at T2, T3, T4 or T5. Greater reduction of pain was observed for primary as compared with secondary dysmenorrhea. Average pain duration at baseline (2.6 days) was significantly reduced by 62, 69, 54 or 54% at T2, T3, T4 or T5. Average NSAID use was significantly reduced by 63, 74, 58 or 58% at T2, T3, T4 or T5, respectively, and ceased totally in 7 patients, still asymptomatic 6 months after treatment. Our findings suggest that acupuncture may be indicated to treat dysmenorrhea related pain, in particular in those subjects in whom NSAID or oral contraceptives are contraindicated or refused.