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A large randomised trial carried out in China has shown that electro-acupuncture (EA) is as effective as usual medical care for the treatment of women with urinary incontinence. Five hundred women with moderate to severe mixed urinary incontinence were randomised to either EA or conservative medical treatment (pelvic floor muscle training together with solifenacin, an anticholinergic drug that relaxes the bladder muscles). Participants in the EA group received 30 minutes of EA at bilateral Zhongliao BL-33 and Huiyang BL-35, three times a week for 36 treatment sessions over 12 weeks. Both groups reported significant improvement from baseline in urinary incontinence symptoms and quality of life. Analysis of the number of participants using incontinence pads, and degree of participant satisfaction at week 12 demonstrated significantly better results in the acupuncture group; all other secondary outcomes revealed no differences between groups. Adverse effects were minor in both groups, but were much less frequent in the EA group. The authors conclude that EA shows promise as an effective alternative for the treatment of urinary incontinence.

Electroacupuncture Versus Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Plus Solifenacin for Women With Mixed Urinary Incontinence: A Randomized Noninferiority Trial. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019 Jan;94(1):54-65.

 

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