Women suffering from stress urinary incontinence can benefit from electroacupuncture

A study suggests that electroacupuncture can be used as a treatment for relieving stress urinary incontinence in women. In the study, which was published in Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur, researchers looked at the effect of electroacupuncture on stress urinary incontinence in women.

Stress urinary incontinence is a bladder condition in which urine leaks out with sudden pressure on the bladder and urethra. In mild cases, pressure may come from sudden forceful activities, such as exercise, sneezing, laughing, or coughing. In more severe cases, urine leakage may also occur with less forceful activities like standing up, walking, or bending over. About one out of three women suffer from this condition at some point in their life. Urinary incontinence is also said to increase in likelihood with age.

Similar to traditional acupuncture, electroacupuncture stimulates the same points in the body using needles. However, in electroacupuncture, the needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. Studies have reported that electroacupuncture is effective as:

18 Sessions of electroacupuncture reduce urine leakage

Although electroacupuncture has been studied for various health conditions, the evidence on its effectiveness on stress urinary incontinence in women is limited. Therefore, the researchers carried out the study and recruited 504 women with stress urinary incontinence from 12 hospitals in China. These participants were then randomly divided into two groups. One group received 18 sessions of electroacupuncture involving the lower back for six weeks, while the other group received 18 sessions of sham electroacupuncture with no skin penetration on sham acupoints.

Among the 504 randomized participants, only 482 completed the study. The researchers measured the participants’ amount of urine leakage from the beginning of the study until the last treatment through the one-hour pad test. Through this, they found that those who received electroacupuncture experienced a greater reduction in mean urine leakage compared to the sham electroacupuncture group. The mean difference between the two groups was 7.4 grams (g).

In addition, the researchers assessed the mean 72-hour urinary incontinence episodes. Based on the data from a 72-hour bladder diary, the electroacupuncture group experienced greater changes in the mean 72-hour incontinence episodes than the comparison group. While adverse events occurred in both groups, these were all mild and there were fewer incidents of these in the electroacupuncture group.

With these findings, the researchers concluded that a six-week electroacupuncture therapy involving the lower back helps reduce urine leakage in women with stress urinary incontinence.

Natural remedies for treating urinary incontinence

These natural remedies may be helpful in eliminating or reducing episodes of stress urinary incontinence:

  • Avoiding foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder
  • Bladder training
  • Drinking enough amounts of liquid at the right time
  • Eating more foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables
  • Losing extra weight
  • Performing pelvic floor muscle exercises in which you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter
  • Quitting smoking
  • Treating a chronic cough

Read more news stories on natural treatments for urinary incontinence and other female health problems at WomensHealth.news.

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