Acupuncture for the Treatment of Vulvodynia



Acupuncture for the Treatment of Vulvodynia


Journal Publication







Research Type




Purpose A randomized controlled pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effect of an acupuncture protocol for the treatment of vulvodynia. Hypotheses 1) Acupuncture reduces vulvar pain and dyspareunia in women with vulvodynia. 2) Acupuncture increases sexual function in women with vulvodynia. Significance The incidence of vulvodynia in US women has been reported to be as high as 16%. Research suggests that there is no consistently effective standardized treatment for vulvodynia. Methods Thirty-six women with vulvodynia met inclusion criteria, and 36 women completed the study. The women were randomly assigned either to the acupuncture group or to the wait-list control group. The 18 participants assigned to the acupuncture group received acupuncture 2 times per week for 5 weeks for a total of 10 sessions. Results Vulvar pain and dyspareunia showed statistically significant reductions, and sexual function showed a statistically significant increase for women in the acupuncture group as compared to the wait-list control group. Acupuncture showed a trend for increased vaginal lubrication and reduced affective pain. Acupuncture did not increase sexual desire, sexual arousal, ability to orgasm, or sexual satisfaction in women with vulvodynia. Discussion This was the first randomized controlled pilot study to examine the use of acupuncture for the treatment of vulvodynia. The acupuncture protocol was feasible and in this small sample reduced vulvar pain and dyspareunia, and increased sexual function in women with vulvodynia. This study should be replicated in a larger double-blind randomized controlled trial, and if results indicate, this acupuncture treatment protocol should be considered a valid and important option in the treatment of this incapacitating pain syndrome.




Accession Number: 103903077. Language: English. Entry Date: 20141010. Revision Date: 20150901. Publication Type: Journal Article; abstract; clinical trial; research; randomized controlled trial. Journal Subset: Core Nursing; Double Blind Peer Reviewed; Editorial Board Reviewed; Expert Peer Reviewed; Nursing; Peer Reviewed; USA. Special Interest: Advanced Nursing Practice; Obstetric Care; Pain and Pain Management; Women's Health. NLM UID: 100909407.

View on Pubmed



Number of Participants


Item sets