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Posts Tagged ‘acupuncture for vulvodynia’

Our clinical trial protocol has been published recently in Journal of Integrative Medicine, the PDF of whole article is available based on request.

Effectiveness of two different acupuncture strategies in patients with vulvodynia: Study protocol for a pilot pragmatic controlled trial.

Fan AY, Alemi SF, Zhu YH, Rahimi S, Wei H, Tian H, He D, Gong C, Yang G, He C, Ouyang H.  J Integr Med. 2018 Oct 10. pii: S2095-4964(18)30103-1. doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.10.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vulvodynia, or vulvar pain, is a common condition in women; however, there are few evidence-based clinical trials evaluating nonpharmacological therapies for this condition. Acupuncture is one complementary and integrative medicine therapy used by some patients with vulvodynia. This study evaluates two different acupuncture strategies for the treatment of vulvodynia and aims to evaluate whether either of the acupuncture protocols reduces vulvar pain, pain duration or pain with intercourse. The study also examines how long the effect of acupuncture lasts in women with vulvodynia.

METHODS/DESIGN:

The study is designed as a randomized controlled trial, focused on two acupuncture protocols. Fifty-one patients who have had vulvodynia for more than 3 months will be recruited. Among them, 34 patients will be randomized into Groups 1a and 1b; those who are unwilling to receive acupuncture will be recruited into the standard care group (Group 2). Patients in Group 1a will have acupuncture focused on the points in the pudendal nerve distribution area, while patients in Group 1b will receive acupuncture focused on traditional (distal) meridian points. Patients in Group 2 will receive routine conventional treatments, such as using pain medications, local injections and physical therapies or other nonsurgical procedures. Acupuncture will last 45 min per session, once or twice a week for 6 weeks. The primary outcome measurement will be objective pain intensity, using the cotton swab test. The secondary outcome measurement will be subjective patient self-reported pain intensity, which will be conducted before cotton swab test. Pain intensities will be measured by an 11-point Numeric Pain Rating Scale. Pain duration and pain score during intercourse are recorded. Local muscle tension, tenderness and trigger points (Ashi points) are also recorded. All measurements will be recorded at baseline (before the treatment), at the end of each week during treatment and at the end of the 6 weeks. Follow-up will be done 6 weeks following the last treatment.

DISCUSSION:

Results of this trial will provide preliminary data on whether acupuncture provides better outcomes than nonacupuncture treatments, i.e., standard care, and whether acupuncture focused on the points in pudendal nerve distribution, near the pain area, has better results than traditional acupuncture focused on distal meridian points for vulvodynia.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03481621. Register: March 29, 2018.

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J R Soc Med. 1999 Nov;92(11):579-81.

Acupuncture for vulvodynia.

Abstract

Vulvodynia is the sensation of burning and/or pain of the vulva in the absence of abnormal clinical findings. We offered acupuncture to twelve patients with this syndrome. All had experienced severe distress and impairment of sexual function and usual treatments had failed. The patients attended weekly for acupuncture and progress was monitored at each visit by enquiry, a questionnaire and a visual analogue scale for pain. Half had treatment for the first five weeks only, the other half for the second five weeks only. Side-effects were negligible. Two patients felt so much improved that they declared themselves ‘cured’; three believed their symptoms had improved and wished to continue acupuncture; four felt slightly better and judgedacupuncture more effective than any other treatment; and three noted no effect at all. Acupuncture is time-consuming and a large part of its beneficial effect in this study may have come from the regular specialist contact. However, in view of the patients’ lack of response to other measures their satisfaction with the acupuncture was surprisingly high.

PMID:10703496 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC1297434   Free PMC Article

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J Sex Med. 2010 Feb;7(2 Pt 2):981-95. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

The ACTIV study: acupuncture treatment in provoked vestibulodynia.

Source

Elements of Health Centre, Victoria, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a distressing genital pain condition affecting 12% of women. Treatment modalities vary and although vestibulectomy has the highest efficacy rates, it is usually not a first-line option. Acupuncture has a long history in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system and operates on the premise that pain results from the blockage or imbalance of important channels. The main principle of treatment is to move Qi and blood to cease genital pain.

AIM:

To explore effect sizes and feasibility in a pilot study of acupuncture for women with PVD.

METHODS:

Eight women with PVD (mean age 30 years) underwent 10 1-hour acupuncture sessions. Specific placement of the needles depended on the woman’s individual TCM diagnosis. TCM practitioners made qualitative notes on participants’ feedback after each session. Main Outcome Measures. Self-reported pain (investigator-developed), pain-associated cognitions (Pain Catastrophizing Scale [PCS], Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire), and sexual response (Female Sexual Function Index) were measured before and after treatment sessions 5 and 10. Qualitative analyses of TCM practitioner notes were performed along with one in-depth case report on the experience of a participant.

RESULTS:

A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed significant decreases in pain with manual genital stimulation and helplessness on the PCS. An examination of effect sizes also revealed strong (though nonsignificant) effects for improved ability to have intercourse and sexual desire. Qualitative analyses were overall more positive and revealed an improvement in perceived sexual health, reduced pain, and improved mental well-being in the majority of participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Effect sizes and qualitative analyses of practitioner-initiated interviews showed overall positive effects of acupuncture, but there were statistically significant improvements only in pain with manual genital stimulation and helplessness. These findings require replication in a larger, controlled trial before any definitive conclusions on the efficacy of acupuncture for PVD can be made.

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