An umbrella systematic review (a ‘review of reviews’), which assessed the effectiveness of acupuncture for menopause symptoms, has concluded that current evidence from RCTs supports its use. Three systematic reviews (1127 women) were identified that met the American authors’ eligibility criteria, and data from four more recent RCTs (696 women) were also included. Meta-analyses revealed statistically significant differences associated with acupuncture – used as either an adjunctive or stand-alone treatment, compared with no acupuncture – for reducing vasomotor frequency and severity, and improving health-related quality of life. While follow-up time of the studies varied, some demonstrated reductions in hot flush frequency that were maintained for 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 in the treatment of menopause-related vasomotor symptoms, with the caveat that the observed clinical benefit associated with acupuncture may be partly due to non-specific effects.
Management of Menopause Symptoms with Acupuncture: An Umbrella Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Apr;24(4):314-323.