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Using Houston Acupuncture Services To Treat Genitourinary Health
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Acupuncture is an Effective Supportive Therapy for an Array of Genitourinary Health Problems

Acupuncture has been used to treat a variety of genitourinary conditions for centuries, and it’s gaining popularity among patients in the west. There’s good reason for this, as genitourinary conditions are frustrating and potentially embarrassing to live with. Current medication options aren’t always effective, either.

Acupuncture provides patients with an effective adjunct treatment option without the side effects associated with drug therapy. With minimal adverse effects, an increasing number of patients are trying acupuncture and other eastern medical modalities to see if it provides the relief that other treatments haven’t. When incorporated into a standard medical regimen, the results are promising for many genitourinary health issues.

How Can Eastern Medical Treatments Like Acupuncture Help the Genitourinary System?

Acupuncture is associated with a range of health-supporting benefits, many of which can help with patients suffering from genitourinary conditions. Some of those conditions include:


Infertility can arise from a complex network of physical and psychological factors, and while it’s difficult for any single treatment option to resolve infertility, acupuncture can help improve fertility in some areas.

Specifically, acupuncture is known to increase the availability of sex hormones in women, including estrogen and progesterone. Acupuncture can also reduce stress levels and improve sleep in many women, both of which are important for fertility reasons. In short, acupuncture can be a highly effective adjunct option for women attempting to boost their fertility.

Urinary Incontinence, including stress incontinence

Urinary incontinence is characterized by urine leakage from the urethra, which can be exacerbated by lifting, sneezing, laughing and other activities (stress incontinence). Stress incontinence is the most common form of urinary incontinence in women, but it can be helped with acupuncture.

In one clinical trial conducted in 12 Chinese hospitals, 504 women patients were split into two groups. One received sham acupuncture (the needles were not inserted deep enough to produce an effect) versus genuine acupuncture. After six weeks of treatment, the group that received true acupuncture reduced the amount of urine leakage by more than half. These benefits remained 24 weeks after treatment was stopped.

Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is the opposite of incontinence and is characterized by a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying while going to the bathroom. In a 2020 study published in Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, acupuncture was administered to 113 patients complaining of urinary retention. Following acupuncture treatment, nearly 95 percent of the study’s participants experienced improvement in bladder emptying, with a large number experiencing total efficacy due to acupuncture.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are typically benign growths that develop in muscle tissue surrounding the uterus. While benign, they are extremely common (about one-third of women will develop them during their reproductive years) and occasionally debilitating. Uterine fibroids can increase menstrual bleeding, as well as pelvic, back and leg pain.

Acupuncture has been studied as a possible adjunctive therapy for uterine fibroids, and the results show that acupuncture can reduce blood flow through the arteries leading to the uterus, resulting in less menstrual bleeding. Acupuncture is also an effective pain-reduction method and can also reduce pain resulting from fibroids.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

More than half of women will eventually experience cystitis (or UTIs) during their lifetime. Characterized by painful, frequent urination, and occasional fever, UTIs are a recurring frustration for many.

Acupuncture can help, though. Studies show that acupuncture raises leukocyte (white blood cell) counts for weeks following treatment. This can help combat the UTI-causing pathogens before they can cause infection. Further, a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked at 94 women patients and found that acupuncture reduced the number of UTIs over a six-month period following treatment. The study was randomized, so the mean age and mean number of monthly UTIs was consistent between the control and experimental groups.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

ED can have a number of underlying causes, including physical and psychological causes. Acupuncture has been used in studies to treat psychological ED and the results show some promise.

In a 2003 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, 22 patients with psychogenic ED were given either ED-targeted acupuncture or acupuncture unrelated to ED. In the ED-specific group, acupuncture helped close to 70 percent of patients achieve a satisfactory response, while only 9 percent had similar results in the placebo group. Some of the control group participants were allowed to “cross over” into the experimental group, and results improved for those patients following the switch.

Menopausal Symptoms

Acupuncture has been utilized for menopause-related symptoms for a long time, and while it can help improve sleep and reduce anxiety in menopausal women, the research is especially positive for hot flashes.

In a 2006 study published in Fertility and Sterility, 29 postmenopausal women were selected for their high rate of developing hot flashes. On average, each patient experienced at least seven moderate to severe hot flashes daily.

Following seven weeks of treatment with genuine acupuncture or placebo, the group that received actual acupuncture greatly reduced their severity of hot flashes and moderately reduced their frequency. Among women who reduced their rate of hot flashes, sleep quality improved measurably.

When Considering Acupuncture for Genitourinary Health, Choose a Licensed Houston Acupuncturist

Acupuncture’s effects on the body are still undergoing extensive research, but the available studies suggest acupuncture is worthy of consideration for a range of genitourinary conditions. However, it’s important to seek a licensed acupuncturist if you’re considering treatment. A licensed acupuncturist utilizes best practices to deliver treatment, including using sanitized needles that are of the proper thickness. Further, licensed Houston acupuncturists know what nerve pathways to target during treatment, which is necessary for optimizing patient outcomes.

Our Houston practice is licensed to provide acupuncture, along with standard western treatment modalities and other forms of eastern medicine. Together, we use these medical philosophies to deliver the best possible care to our patients.