A review of acupuncture research published in the Journal of Medical Acupuncture (June 2013) by researchers at the Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation and Pain Center in Washington, DC, and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital at Harvard Medical School, indicates that:
there is high-level evidence to support the use of acupuncture for treating major depressive disorder in pregnancy.
This is excellent news for women who suffer from anxiety and depression at twice the rate of their male counterparts. It’s also good news for women struggling with fertility and, of course, pregnant women.
In addition, these conditions are difficult to treat and have high relapse rates and medication side-effects. There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression in women, in particular in the life-threatening case of a major depressive disorder in pregnancy.
The objective of the review of six acupuncture studies was to summarize existing evidence on acupuncture as a therapy for anxiety and depression in women and to present a novel method for assessing acupuncture trial quality.
Researchers included published randomized controlled trials where acupuncture was compared with any control procedure in people with anxiety and/or depression. Two authors extracted data independently. A novel acupuncture trial quality-assessment tool was developed to analyze the literature quality.
While the quality of researched varied researchers noted that there was a significant difference between acupuncture and at least one control in all six trials.
Researchers concluded that with respect to the six reviewed studies, there is high-level evidence to support the use of acupuncture for treating major depressive disorder in pregnancy.
Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review by David P. Sniezek and Imran J. Siddiqui. Medical Acupuncture. June 2013, 25(3): 164-172. doi:10.1089/acu.2012.0900.