The effect of acupressure at the sanyinjiao point (SP6) on primary dysmenorrhea in students resident in dormitories of Tabriz

Sakineh Mohammad Alizadeh Charandabi, Maryam Shabani Nashtaei, Sedigheh Kamali, Ramin Majlesi


  • Background: There are two types of primary dysmenorrhea (spasmodic and congestive) which differ from each other in terms of the time of menstrual cycle outbreak, pain quality and other symptoms. The present study aimed to determine the effect of acupressure at the sanyinjiao point (SP-6) on severity of menstrual symptoms (primary outcome) and the duration of resting time as well as the number of used ibuprofen (secondary outcome) in the two types of primary dysmenorrhea.
  • Methods: This was a clustered randomized controlled trial on 72 eligible students residing in dormitories of public universities of Tabriz. Determining the type of primary dysmenorrhea using a Menstrual Symptoms Questionnaire (MSQ), 36 participants from each type of dysmenorrhea were enrolled equally from each of the four dormitories. The dormitories were randomly divided into intervention and control groups. No intervention was carried out at the first cycle. During the two next cycles, Sanyinjiao point of the subjects in the intervention group was pressed for twenty minutes at the time of pain. The subjects in both groups were allowed to consum ibuprofen, if needed. During these three cycles, the participants recorded and reported menstrual symptoms severity, duration of resting time and the number of the used ibuprofen.
  • Results: For participants in both intervention groups, the severity of menstrual symptoms and duration of resting time in the 2nd and 3rd cycles were significantly reduced more than control groups. In addition, the average numbers of ibuprofen pills taken by both intervention groups was significantly less than the control groups. There was no significant difference between the two intervention groups in terms of any of the outcomes.
  • Discussion: Acupressure is effective on lowering the symptoms of dysmenorrhea and duration of resting time almost equally in both spasmodic and congestive types. Therefore, using this method either alone or along with other methods is recommended to treat dysmenorrhea.
  • Keywords: Dysmenorrhea, acupressure, complementary medicine, controlled randomized trial.

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