A new study found that acupuncture improved the frequent and overwhelming urge to urinate in women suffering from overactive bladder, according to an Aug 3, 2005, news release from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Overactive bladder affects roughly 17% of the US population, and occurs when the muscles around the bladder contract erratically, creating pressure and causing the need to urinate.
The study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, followed 85 women with overactive bladder and urge incontinence. The women were randomly assigned to one of two groups, with approximately half receiving acupuncture that targeted bladder control and the other half receiving acupuncture treatments for relaxation.
The women who received acupuncture for bladder control were treated specifically on the lower back and abdomen, and those treated for relaxation were given acupuncture on points throughout the body. After four weeks of treatment, both groups reported improvement in urge incontinence and urinary leakage, and the women who received bladder-specific acupuncture reported making fewer trips to the bathroom and less urgency to urinate.
Acupuncture May Ease Overactive Bladder (news release, San Diego: Padfi’c College of Oriental Medicine, Aug 3, 2005).