Saturday, April 2, 2016

Acupuncture in Premenopausal Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Female sexual dysfunction affects up to 43% of women in the United States and hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common type; however, we lack treatment options showing improvement for this condition.

To investigate whether acupuncture therapy could improve HSDD.

Premenopausal women with a primary diagnosis of HSDD were included in a single-arm prospective pilot study that was approved by the institutional review board. After providing informed consent, subjects completed validated questionnaires. Participants underwent 25-minute twice-weekly acupuncture sessions for 5 weeks with one certified acupuncturist. Questionnaires were completed again 6 weeks after onset of treatment.

Based on a statistically significant change in the desire domain of the Female Sexual Function Index from 2.0 (at baseline) to 2.4 (after intervention with a specialist) in our population of patients diagnosed with HSDD, a sample of 13 was determined, with 90% power and α 0.05.

Fifteen women were enrolled and 13 completed the study. Mean age was 36.9 ± 11.4 years. Most were white (n = 9, 60%), heterosexual (n = 15, 100%), and non-smokers (n = 14, 93%). Most were sexually active more than four times per month (n = 8, 53%) and none had a history of sexual abuse (n = 15, 100%). Participants received a mean acupuncture needle application of 17 ± 2 at each session. Sexual function improved after intervention, particularly desire (2.1 ± 0.6 to 3.3 ± 1.2, P < .0001), arousal (P < .0001), lubrication (P = .03), and orgasm (P = .005).

In this cohort of premenopausal women with HSDD, 5 weeks of acupuncture therapy was associated with significant improvements in sexual function, particularly desire. This supports a role for acupuncture as a therapeutic option for women with low desire.

Purchase full article at:

1Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, USA. Electronic address:
2Acupuncture and Holistic Health, TriHealth, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
3Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Sex Med. 2016 Mar 28. pii: S2050-1161(16)00032-5. doi: 10.1016/j.esxm.2016.02.005. [Epub ahead of print]

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