Objective: To evaluate the effect of acupuncture in the prevention of recurrent lower urinary tract infection (UTI) in adult women.
Design: A controlled clinical trial with three arms: an acupuncture group, a sham-acupuncture group, and an untreated control group. Patients were followed for 6 months.
Setting: An acupuncture clinic in Bergen, Norway.
Subjects: Sixty-seven adult women with a history of recurrent lower UTI.
Main outcome measures: Acute lower UTIs during the 6-month observation period.
Results: Eighty-five percent were free of lower UTI during the 6-month observation period in the acupuncture group, compared with 58% in the sham group (p < 0.05), and 36% in the control group (p < 0.01). There were half as many episodes of lower UTI per person-half-year in the acupuncture group as in the sham group, and a third as many as in the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Acupuncture seems a worthwhile alternative in the prevention of recurring lower UTI in women.