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FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture may be an effective alternative therapy for reducing menopausal complaints, especially the severity of hot flushes, according to a study published in the March issue of Acupuncture in Medicine.
Didem Sunay, M.D., of Ankara Training and Research Hospital in Turkey, and colleagues investigated whether acupuncture has an effect on menopausal symptoms, and whether there is an associated change in hormone levels. A group of 53 postmenopausal women were assigned to receive either acupuncture or sham acupuncture. The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) was used to evaluate menopausal symptoms. Serum levels of estradiol, follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) were measured at baseline, and after the first and last treatment sessions.
The researchers found that MRS scores after treatment were significantly lower in the acupuncture group, particularly in the somatic and psychological subscale scores. The severity of hot flushes was also significantly lessened in the acupuncture group. After treatment, estradiol levels were significantly higher and LH levels significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared to the sham group. There was no difference in FSH levels between the groups.
"The current data indicate that acupuncture can be considered as an alternative therapy in the treatment of menopausal symptoms particularly in hot flushes, in women who have contraindications for hormone replacement therapy," the authors write.
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