Dysmenorrhoea and acupuncture: a review of the literature
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Dysmenorrhoea and acupuncture: a review of the literature

Sheila Cunningham Principal lecturer, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University, London
Dan Tan Senior lecturer, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University, London

This article provides an overview of dysmenorrhoea – pain during menstruation – and the use of acupuncture to manage this common gynaecological problem. Severe dysmenorrhoea can be distressing, adversely affecting social and occupational activities. Treatments vary from over-the-counter remedies to hormonal control. However, for some women satisfactory pain relief is difficult to achieve and alternative options are increasingly being sought. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture are gaining popularity and the evidence base for their use is growing. This article discusses the current evidence for the use of acupuncture to treat dysmenorrhoea and seeks to inform nurses, especially those working in primary care, so that they are able to advise women on the range of available treatment options.

Nursing Standard. 25, 44,39-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.07.25.44.39.c8613

Correspondence

s.cunningham@mdx.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review