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Complement Ther Med. 2014 Aug;22(4):710-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 8.

Treatment of women's reproductive health conditions by Australian and New Zealand acupuncturists.

Author information

1
National Institute for Complementary Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia. Electronic address: caroline.smith@uws.edu.au.
2
National Institute for Complementary Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acupuncture is used by nine percent of the Australian population; however, we know relatively little about the practice of acupuncture to treat women's reproductive health in Australia and New Zealand.

METHODS:

This study surveyed acupuncturists to examine their practice with treating women's reproductive health complaints. A cross sectional survey of 3406 Australian and New Zealand acupuncturists was conducted. A self-completion questionnaire explored the areas of acupuncture treatment for gynaecological pregnancy and fertility complaints.

RESULTS:

Questionnaires were completed by 377 acupuncturists. Ninety-six percent of practitioners reported treating women's reproductive health conditions within the previous year. All three areas of women's reproductive health were commonly treated with 96% treating gynaecological health, 91% treating pregnancy conditions, and 90% fertility conditions. The most commonly treated gynaecological conditions were premenstrual syndrome (90.1%, 95% CI 86.2-93.0), menopause (89.4%, 95% CI 85.4-92.4) and primary dysmenorrhea (89.1%, 95% CI 85.1-92.2). Participants reported treating general fertility not related to assisted reproduction (93%, 95% CI 89.4-95.5), treatment for a diagnosed fertility related conditions (85.8%, 95% CI 81.1-89.4), and to decrease infertility related stress (86%, 95% CI 81.5-89.7). The most common pregnancy related conditions treated were nausea (90.3%, 95% CI 86.3-93.3), back or pelvic pain (89.3%, 95% CI 85.1-92.4), and prebirth labour preparation (86.8%, 95% CI 82.3-90.3).

CONCLUSION:

Treating women's reproductive health complaints was commonly reported among the groups of acupuncturists in Australia and New Zealand responding to this survey; however, our findings cannot be generalised to the wider acupuncture communities in these two countries.

PMID:
25146076
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctim.2014.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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