Intervention Review

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Acupuncture for menopausal hot flushes

  1. Sylvie Dodin1,*,
  2. Claudine Blanchet1,
  3. Isabelle Marc2,
  4. Edzard Ernst3,
  5. Taixiang Wu4,
  6. Caroline Vaillancourt5,
  7. Joalee Paquette6,
  8. Elizabeth Maunsell7

Editorial Group: Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group

Published Online: 30 JUL 2013

Assessed as up-to-date: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007410.pub2

How to Cite

Dodin S, Blanchet C, Marc I, Ernst E, Wu T, Vaillancourt C, Paquette J, Maunsell E. Acupuncture for menopausal hot flushes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD007410. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007410.pub2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Université Laval, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Quebec, Canada

  2. 2

    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Département de pédiatrie, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada

  3. 3

    Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Complementary Medicine Department, Exeter, UK

  4. 4

    West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, Chinese Ethics Committee of Registering Clinical Trials, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

  5. 5

    Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada

  6. 6

    Institut des nutraceutiques et des aliments fonctionnels, Québec, Canada

  7. 7

    Hopital du Saint-Sacrement, Centre de recherche, Quebec, QC, Canada

*Sylvie Dodin, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Université Laval, 45, Leclerc - Room D6-723, Quebec, G1L 2G1, Canada.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New
  2. Published Online: 30 JUL 2013



References to studies included in this review

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. Additional references
Avis 2008 {published and unpublished data}
  • Avis NE, Legault C, Coeytaux RR, Pian-Smith M, Shifren JL, Chen W, et al. A randomized, controlled pilot study of acupuncture treatment for menopausal hot flashes. Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2008;15(6):1070-8.
Bokmand 2013 {published data only}
  • Bokmand S, Flyger H. Acupuncture relieves menopausal discomfort in breast cancer patients: a prospective, double blinded, randomized study. Breast 2013;22(3):320-3.
Borud 2009 {published data only}
  • Borud EK, Alraek T, White A, Fonnebo V, Eggen AE, Hammar M, et al. The acupuncture on hot flashes among menopausal women (ACUFLASH) study, a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2009;16(3):484-93.
Deng 2007 {published data only}
  • Deng G, Vickers AJ, Yeung KS, D'Andrea GM, Xiao H, Heerdt AS, et al. Randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2007;23(6):5584-90.
Frisk 2008 {published and unpublished data}
  • Frisk J, Carlhall S, Kallstrom A-C, Lindh-Astrand L, Malmstrom A, Hammar M. Long-term follow-up of acupuncture and hormone therapy on hot flushes in women with breast cancer: a prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter trial. Climacteric 2008;11(2):166-74.
Hervik 2009 {published and unpublished data}
  • Hervik J, Mjåland O. Acupuncture for the treatment of the hot flashes in breast cancer patients, a randomized, controlled trial. Breast Cancer Research and treatment 2009;116(2):311-6.
Kim 2010 {published data only}
  • Kim KH, Kang KW, Kim DI, Kim HJ, Yoon HM, Lee JM, et al. Effects of acupuncture on hot flushes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women-a multicenter randomized clinical trial. Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2010;17(2):269-80.
Kim 2011 {published data only}
  • Kim DI, Jeong JC, Kim KH, Rho JJ, Choi MS, Yoon SH, et al. Acupuncture for hot flushes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a randomised, sham-controlled trial. Acupuncture in Medicine 2011;29(4):249-56.
Nedstrand 2006 {published data only}
  • Nedstrand E, Wyon Y, Hammer M, Wijma K. Psychological well-being improves in women with breast cancer after treatment with applied relaxation or electro-acupuncture for vasomotor symptom. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology 2006;27(4):193-9.
Nir 2007 {published and unpublished data}
Painovich 2012 {published and unpublished data}
  • Painovich JM, Shufelt CL, Azziz R, Yang Y, Goodarzi MO, Braunstein GD, et al. A pilot randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial of traditional acupuncture for vasomotor symptoms and mechanistic pathways of menopause. Menopause 2012;19(1):54-61.
Park 2009 {published and unpublished data}
  • Park JE, Lee MS, Jung S, Kim A, Kang K, Choi J, et al. Moxibustion for treating menopausal hot flashes: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2009;16(4):660-5.
Venzke 2010 {published data only}
  • Venzke L, Calvert JF Jr, Gilbertson B. A randomized trial of acupuncture for vasomotor symptoms in post-menopausal women. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2010;18(2):59-66.
Vincent 2007 {published and unpublished data}
  • Vincent A, Barton DL, Mandrekar JN, Cha SS, Zais T, Wahner-Roedler DL, et al. Acupuncture for hot flashes: a randomized, sham-controlled clinical study. Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2007;14(1):45-52.
Wyon 2004 {published and unpublished data}
Zhou 2011 {published data only}
  • Zhou J, Qu F, Sang X, Wang X, Nan R. Acupuncture and auricular acupressure in relieving menopausal hot flashes of bilaterally ovariectomized Chinese women: a randomized controlled trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011;2011:713274.

References to studies excluded from this review

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. Additional references
Azizi 2011 {published data only}
  • Azizi H, Liu YF, Du L, Wang CH, Bahrami-Taghanaki H, Esmaily HO, et al. Menopause-related symptoms: traditional Chinese medicine vs hormone therapy. Alternatives Therapies 2011;17(4):48-53.
Borud 2010 {published data only}
  • Borud EK,  Alraek T,  White A,  Grimsgaard S. The acupuncture on hot flashes among menopausal women study: observational follow-up results at 6 and 12 months. Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2010;17(2):262-8.
Castelo Branco 2011 {published data only}
  • Castelo Branco de Luca A, Maggio da Fonseca A, Carvalho Lopes CM, Bagnoli VR, Soares JM, Baracat EC. Acupuncture-ameliorated menopausal symptoms: single-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Climacteric 2011;14:140-5.
Cohen 2003 {published data only}
  • Cohen SM, Rousseau ME, Carey BL. Can acupuncture ease the symptoms of menopause?. Holistic Nursing Practice 2003;17(6):295-9.
Cummins 2000 {published data only}
  • Cummins SM, Brunt MA. Does acupuncture influence the vasomotor symptoms experienced by breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen?. Acupuncture in Medicine 2000;18(1):28.
Davies 2001 {published data only}
  • Davies FM. The effect of acupuncture treatment on the incidence and severity of hot flushes experienced by women following treatment for breast cancer: a comparison of traditional and minimal acupuncture. European Journal of Cancer 2001;37 Suppl 6:S438.
De Valois 2003 {published data only}
  • De Valois B, Young T, Hunter M, Lucey H, Maher HJ. Using traditional acupuncture for hot flushes and night sweats in women taking tamoxifen - a pilot study. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies 2003;8(1):134-5.
    Direct Link:
De Valois 2010 {published data only}
  • De Valois BA, Young TE, Robinson N, McCourt C, Maher EJ. Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2010;16(10):1047-57.
Facchinetti 1989 {published data only}
  • Facchinetti F, Lanzani A, Nappi G, Pironti T, Genazzani AR. [Mediation opioïdes des effets de l'acupuncture et des techniques derivées dans le traitement des troubles de la ménopause]. Revue Française de Médecine Traditionnelle Chinoise 1989;133:72-5.
Frisk 2012 {published data only}
  • Frisk J, Kallstrom AC, Wall N, Fredrikson M, Hammar M. Acupuncture improves health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) and sleep in women with breast cancer and hot flushes. Support Care Cancer 2012;20(4):715-24.
Grilli 1989 {published data only}
  • Grilli M, Lamma A, Macchiagodena C, Moroni M, Roncuzzi A, Savorani G, et al. [L'emploi thérapeutique de l'acupuncture dans la ménopause]. La Revue Francaise de Médecine Traditionelle Chinoise 1989;133:65-6.
Guévin 2009 {published data only}
  • Guévin F, Lambert B. Acupuncture and menopausal hot flashes. Medical Acupuncture 2009;21(4):243-5.
Gui-e 2000 {published data only}
  • Gui-e S, Ren-hai M. Acupuncture treatment of premature ovarian failure: observation of 76 patients. International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture 2000;11(1):11-4.
Harris 2002 {published data only}
  • Harris PF, Remington PL, Trentham-Dietz A, Allen CI, Newcomb PA. Prevalence and treatment of menopausal symptoms among breast cancer survivors. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2002;23(6):501-9.
Hervik 2010 {published data only}
  • Hervik J, Mjaland O. Quality of life of breast cancer patients medicated with anti-estrogens, 2 years after acupuncture treatment: a qualitative study. International Journal of Women's Health 2010;2:319-25.
Hu 2005 {published data only}
  • Hu J. Acupuncture treatment of menopausal syndrome. Journal of traditional Chinese Medicine 2005;25(1):78-80.
Huang 2006 {published data only}
  • Huang MI, Nir Y, Chen B, Schnyer R, Manber R. A randomized controlled pilot study of acupuncture for postmenopausal hot flashes: effect on nocturnal hot flashes and sleep quality. Fertility and Sterility 2006;86(3):700-10.
Huazhang 2008 {published data only}
  • Huazhang T, Chunyan Z. The combined use of acupuncture and Chinese medicines for treatment of menopausal syndrome - a clinical report of 63 cases. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2008;28(1):3-4.
Huo 2004 {published data only}
  • Huo ZJ, Zhang WB. Acupuncture treatment of 51 cases of menopausal perspiration. Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 2004;2(4):27-8.
Ji 1998 {published data only}
  • Ji P, Ma RH, Wang ZX. Body acupuncture plus ear pressing in the treatment of menopausal syndrome. International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture 1998;9(4):471-3.
Jin 2007 {published data only}
  • Jin H, Liu TT, Wang R. Clinical observation on acupuncture at the five-zangshu for treatment of perimenopausal syndrome. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2007;27(8):572-4.
Kao 2012 {published data only}
  • Kao CL, Chen CH, Lin WY, Chiao YC, Hsieh CL. Effect of auricular acupressure on peri- and early postmenopausal women with anxiety: a double-blinded, randomized, and controlled pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012;2012:567639.
Lesi 2012 {published data only}
  • Lesi G, Gramenzi A, Garavini CM, Cardini F. Acupuncture in the management of menopausal symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer: an uncontrolled experimental pilot study. European Journal of Integrative Medicine 2012;4S:9-123.
Li 2005 {published data only}
  • Li P. Influence of auricular points sticking and pressing on the symptoms and serum endocrine hormone of menopausal women. Chinese Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation 2005;9(15):140-1.
Mingling 1991 {published data only}
  • Mingling W. 42 cases of climacteric syndrome treated with auricular pellet pressure. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1991;11(3):196-8.
Nedstrand 2005 {published data only}
  • Nedstrand E,  Wijma K,  Wyon Y,  Hammar M. Vasomotor symptoms decrease in women with breast cancer randomized to treatment with applied relaxation or electro-acupuncture: a preliminary study. Climacteric 2005;8(3):243-50.
O'Brien 2010 {published data only}
  • O'Brien KA, Varigos E, Black C, Komesaroff PA. Laser acupuncture does not improve menopausal symptoms. Menopause 2010;17(3):636-41.
Otte 2011 {published data only}
  • Otte JL, Carpenter JS, Zhong X, Johnstone PAS. Feasibility study of acupuncture for reducing sleep disturbances and hot flashes in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. Clinical Nurse Specialist 2011;Sept-Oct:228-36.
Perez 2005 {published data only}
  • Perez AT, Sear A, Frankel C, Franco SX, Tan-Chiu E, Gokce F, et al. Acupuncture for the management of hot flashes in women with early stage breast cancer treated with tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor: a pilot study of efficacy, safety and feasibility. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2005;23(16S):703.
Porzio 2002 {published data only}
  • Porzio G, Trapasso T, Martelli S, Sallusti E, Piccone C, Mattei A, et al. Acupuncture in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms in women taking tamoxifen. Tumori 2002;88(2):128-30.
Sandberg 2002 {published data only}
Spetz Holm 2012 {published data only}
  • Spetz Holm AE, Frisk J, Hammar ML. Acupuncture as treatment of hot flashes and the possible role of calcitonin gene-related peptide. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012:1-9.
Sunay 2011 {published data only}
  • Sunay D, Ozdiken M, Arslan H, Seven A, Aral Y. The effect of acupuncture on postmenopausal symptoms and reproductive hormones: a sham controlled clinical trial. Acupuncture in Medicine 2011;29:27-31.
Towlerton 1999 {published data only}
Tukmachi 2000 {published data only}
  • Tukmachi E. Treatment of hot flushes in breast cancer patients with acupuncture. Acupuncture in Medicine 2000;18(1):22-7.
Walker 2007 {published data only}
  • Walker G, de Valois B, Davies R, Young T, Maher J. Ear acupuncture for hot flushes - the perceptions of women with breast cancer. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2007;13:250-7.
Walker 2008 {published data only}
  • Walker EM, Rodriguez AI, Kohn B, Pegg J, Bell RM, Levine RA. Acupuncture for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms in breast cancer patients receiving hormone suppression treatment. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2008;72 Suppl 1:S103.
Walker 2010 {published data only}
  • Walker EM, Rodriguez AI, Kohn B, Ball RM, Pegg J, Pococl JR, et al. Acupuncture versus venlafaxine for the management of vasomotor symptoms in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010;28(4):634-40.
Wyon 1995 {published data only}
  • Wyon Y, Lindgren R, Lundeberg T, Hammar M. Effects of acupuncture on climacteric vasomotor symptoms, quality of life, and urinary excretion of neuropeptides among postmenopausal women. Menopause 1995;2(1):3-12.
Xia 2008 {published data only}
  • Xia XH, Hu L, Qin ZY, Zhou J, Meng L, Li WL, et al. Multicentral randomized controlled clinical trials about treatment of perimenopausal syndrome with electroacupuncture of sanyinjiao (SP 6). Zhen Ci Yan Jiu 2008;33(4):262-6.
Xiaoming 2005 {published data only}
  • Xiaoming S, Yuanhao D, Li Y, Yang X, Hong Y, Guiru H, et al. Acupuncture for treatment of climacteric syndrome - a report of 35 cases. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2005;25(1):3-6.
Xu 2004 {published data only}
  • Xu Z. Nie Ji, Acupuncture and Bushen Yinao capsule in the treatment of 100 women with menopause. Chinese Manipulation & Qi Gong Therapy 2004;20(5):12-3.
Zaborowska 2007 {published data only}
  • Zaborowska E, Brynhildsen J, Damberg M, Fredriksson M, Lindh-Astrand L, Nedstrand E, et al. Effects of acupuncture, applied relaxation, estrogens and placebo on hot flushes in postmenopausal women: an analysis of two prospective, parallel, randomized studies. Climacteric 2007;10(1):38-45.
Zhang 2006 {published data only}
  • Zhang H. Influence of acupuncture on the clinical manifestation and beta-endorphin level in female patients with menopausal symptoms. Chinese Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation 2006;10(31):1-3.
Zhenya 2001 {published data only}
  • Zhenya J, Changdu L, Li X. Menopausal syndrome treated by cupping along channels: 48 cases. International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture 2001;12(4):363-4.
Zhou 2006 {published data only}
  • Zhou J, Qin ZY, Li WL, Zhang CP, Tian LY, Zhang YJ, et al. Clinical observation on therapeutic effect of electroacupuncture at Sanyinjiao (SP 6) on peri-menopausal syndrome. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2006;26(9):617-20.

Additional references

  1. References to studies included in this review
  2. References to studies excluded from this review
  3. Additional references
Cabyoglu 2006
Ernst 2006
Freeman 2007
Gold 2007
  • Gold EB, Bair Y, Zhang G, Utts J, Greendale GA, Upchurch D, et al. Cross-sectional analysis of specific complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by racial/ethnic group and menopausal status: the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Menopause 2007;14(4):612-23.
Greendale 1999
Guay 2007
Higgins 2011
  • Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from
Hilditch 1996
Hunter 1992
  • Hunter MS. The Women's Health Questionnaire: a measure of mid-aged women's perceptions of their emotional and physical health. Psychology & Health 1992;7(1):45-54.
Marjoribanks 2012
NAMS 2012
  • The North American Menopause Society. The 2012 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause 2012;19(3):257-71.
Nappi 1990
  • Nappi C, Petralgia F, Gambardella A, De Masellis G, Di Carlo C, Genazzani AR, et al. Relationship between cerebrospinal fluid β-endorphin and plasma pituitary-gonadal hormone levels in women. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 1990;13:149-53.
Nasir 2002
Newton 2002
  • Newton KM, Buist DS, Keenan NL, Anderson LA, LaCroix AZ. Use of alternative therapies for menopause symptoms: results of a population-based survey. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2002;100(1):18-25.
NIH 2005
  • National Institutes of Health. NIH State-of-the-Science Conference Statement on management of menopause-related symptoms. NIH Consensus and State-of-the-Science Statements 2005;22(1):1-38.
Pearl 1999
Soules 2001
  • Soules MR, Sherman S, Parrott E, Rebar R, Santoro N, Utian W, et al. Executive summary: Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop (STRAW). Climacteric 2001;4(4):267-72.
Stearns 2002
Wathen 2006
Whittaker 2004