Objectives: Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a considerable issue in urology and gynecology and unfortunately, the treatment options recommended are not fully efficient. Therefore, in this study we aimed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in patients with refractory IC/BPS.
Material and methods: 12 refractory IC/BPS female patients received ten sessions of acupuncture twice a week. The visual analog score (VAS), interstitial cystitis symptom index (ICSI), interstitial cystitis problem index (ICPI), O'Leary-Saint symptom score (OSS), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), Pelvic pain and urgency & frequency patient symptom scale tests (PUF) and maximum voided volume (MVV) was completed in 1st, 3rd, 6th and 12th months following the treatment.
Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in all of the scores evaluated at first month compared with the baseline. While the change in VAS score in 1, 3, 6 and 12th months were found statistically significant, measurements of ICSI, OSS and PUF scores and MVV values in the 6th and 12th months and ICPI and PHQ scores in the 12th month were not found statistically significant compared to the pre-treatment period. Response to treatment for the first three months after acupuncture application was (100%), but this ratio was measured as 33.3% (4/12) in the sixth month and 16.6% in the 12th month (2/12).
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that acupuncture appears to be an effective, useful, non-invasive method in IC/BPS patients. It can be used as an appropriate treatment method not only in refractory but also in IC patients since it is rather advantageous compared to other treating agents.
Keywords: acupuncture treatment; bladder painful syndrome; interstitial cystitis.