Acupuncture for uterine fibroids: Protocol for a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Feb;98(8):e14631. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000014631.


Background: Uterine fibroids represent the most common gynecological benign tumors in reproductive females. Acupuncture has been applied as a therapeutic modality in China to treat uterine fibroids. However, currently, few critical systematic reviews regarding the effect of acupuncture on uterine fibroids have been published. Our proposed review aims to evaluate the current evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture for uterine fibroids.

Methods: A total of 7 databases were searched from their inception to December 2018, including PubMed, Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure database, the Chinese Biomedical database, and the Wanfang database. The primary outcomes will be reduction in uterine volume and number of fibroids. Secondary outcomes are pelvic or low-back pain, assessed by Visual Analog Scale (VAS); Irregular menstrual periods; Low-abdominal pressure symptoms such as frequent or urgent urination, or constipation and adverse events. Data synthesis will be computed by RevManV.5.3.5 software when a data-analysis is allowed. Methodological quality will be evaluated with the risk of bias according to Cochrane Handbook.

Results: This study will provide high-quality evidence of acupuncture for uterine fibroids.

Conclusion: The conclusion of this systematic review will provide evidence to judge whether acupuncture is an effective therapeutic intervention for patients with uterine fibroids.

Trial registration number: PROSPERO CRD42019120484.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / adverse effects
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterus / pathology*