Acupuncture for Sexual Dysfunction

June 10-16th is designated Men’s Health Week, and so our posts this week will address men’s health issues. Today’s post will examine the use of acupuncture for sexual dysfunction, in both men and women.

Anti-depressant medication use is common, and sexual dysfunction rates may be as high as 50-90% with some of these medications. The results of a study may offer hope to those who suffer sexual side effects from commonly prescribed anti-depressant medications.

This research was conducted in Toronto, Canada. 35 subjects enrolled in the study, both men and women. Participants were referred into the study after complaining of sexual side effects from anti-depressant medications. After enrolling in the study, each subject received twelve acupuncture visits, following a fixed acupuncture treatment protocol. Subjects completed a self assessment of sexual functioning, as well as an assessment of anxiety and depression, throughout the study. There a was also a follow up visit one month after the treatment protocol was completed.

Results of the study showed significant improvement in symptoms, particularly among males. Males were also more likely to have decreases in anxiety and depression while receiving acupuncture treatment.

Interestingly, the self reported symptom severity scores one month after completion of the acupuncture treatment were similar to those at completion of the acupuncture treatment, indicating that perhaps acupuncture treatment is able to produce some longer lasting improvements in sexual function.

As with most acupuncture studies, the number of reported adverse reactions to acupuncture treatment is very low. In general the vast majority of patient’s treated with acupuncture find it a well tolerated therapy. Given how frequent sexual side effects are with commonly prescribed anti-depressant medications, perhaps consider acupuncture as a way to help with this, in both men and women.

“Prevention is better than cure.” – Desiderius Erasmus

(Source- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 19, Number 11, 2013)

This blog is a review of published medical and health literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.



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