This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life in women in natural menopause.Methods
We systematically searched PubMed/Medline, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL using keywords such as acupuncture, hot flash, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life. Heterogeneity, moderator analysis, publication bias, and risk of bias associated with the included studies were examined.Results
Of 104 relevant studies, 12 studies with 869 participants met the inclusion criteria and were included in this study. We found that acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency (g = −0.35; 95% CI, −0.5 to −0.21) and severity (g = −0.44; 95% CI, −0.65 to −0.23) of hot flashes. Acupuncture significantly decreased the psychological, somatic, and urogenital subscale scores on the Menopause Rating Scale (g = −1.56, g = −1.39, and g = −0.82, respectively; P < 0.05). Acupuncture improved the vasomotor subscale score on the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire (g= −0.46; 95% CI, −0.9 to −0.02). Long-term effects (up to 3 mo) on hot flash frequency and severity (g = −0.53 and g = −0.55, respectively) were found.Conclusions
This meta-analysis confirms that acupuncture improves hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life (in the vasomotor domain) in women experiencing natural menopause.