Efficacy of various forms of acupuncture for the treatment of urinary incontinence in women: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Evidence regarding the efficacy of various forms of acupuncture for the treatment of urinary incontinence (UI) in women is outdated and inconclusive. This review aims to determine the efficacy of different forms of acupuncture for the treatment of UI in women.

Multiple databases were searched from inception to June 2020. Randomized controlled trials that compared various forms of acupuncture to control were included.

Ten trials were included in this review. The pooled analysis demonstrated that an increased proportion of women with stress UI (SUI) reported fewer UI episodes (1.73 [95% CI 1.46, 2.04]; p < 0.00001) in the electroacupuncture group than in the sham group. The meta-analysis also revealed a significantly increased number of women who reported the complete cure of SUI in the electroacupuncture combined with pelvic floor muscle training group than in the medication group (RR 2.67 [95% CI 1.51, 4.71]; p = 0.0007). Body and laser acupuncture caused significant decreases in the number of urge accidents (-2.70 [95% CI -4.86, -0.54]; p = 0.01) and the occurrence of urgency symptoms (-3.60[95% CI -5.34, -1.86]; p < 0.0001), compared with sham acupuncture.

Based on the findings of this review, electroacupuncture may be able to improve SUI in women in clinical settings. This review also identified evidence supporting the use of body, electro,- and laser acupuncture for the treatment of urge UI; however, these results were obtained from single studies, and further research remains necessary to confirm the effects of these interventions on the treatment of urge UI in women.

Explore (New York, N.Y.). 2022 Jul 17 [Epub ahead of print]

Priya Kannan, Umar M Bello

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong. Electronic address: ., Department of Physiotherapy and Paramedicine, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

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