Table 1

Dose components reported as per STRICTA

first location
Number of needles*Total number
of treatments
Frequency of treatmentsTiming of treatmentsPoints selectedNeedle retention time (min)Mode of stimulationEA frequency and intensity parameters†
Liu et al21
4 (including anchor points)‡31/day for 3 daysFirst day of menstrual cycleSP6 or GB39 or ‘unrelated acupuncture point’30EA2/100 Hz, intensity 0.5–1.6 mA
Ma et al30
1 or 99–211/day for 3–7 days per month over 3 monthsEither 3–7 days before menses or from first day of mensesSP6, SP8, Bl32, Shiqizhui or Shiqizhui alone30MAN/A
Xiong et al26
5151/day for 5 days per month over 3 months5–7 days before mensesST36, SP6, CV330MAN/A
Bu et al29
79+1/day for 3–7 days per month over 3 months3–7 days before mensesSP6, BL32, SP8, Shiqizhui30MAN/A
Liu et al24
4 (including anchor points)31/day for 3 daysFirst 3 days of mensesSP6 or GB39 or ‘non-acupuncture point’30EA2/100 Hz, intensity 0.5–1.6 mA
Shi et al22
4 (including anchor points)1OnceDuring menses (unclear)SP6 or GB3930EA2/100 Hz, intensity NR
Ma et al23
4 (including anchor points)31/day for 3 daysFirst day of mensesSP6 or GB39 or ‘non-meridian point’10EA2/100 Hz, intensity highest level tolerable
Yu et al11
21OnceBetween 5 days before and 2nd day of mensesSP6 or GB395MAN/A
Li et al27
≥715+1/day for min 5 days for 3 months3–5 days before menses until last day bleedingLI4, LR3 plus CV3/CV4 or BL32/SP630MAN/A
Zhi et al28
231 per menstrual cycle for 3 cycles1st day menses for the first cycle then 3 days before menses for 2nd and 3rd cycleSP630EA60 Hz, intensity NR
1293 per month for 3 months1/week excluding mensesSP4, KI3, ST36, ST30, CV2, CV4, PC630–40MAN/A
  • *Total number of needles used.

  • †EA stimulation parameters. Single (X) or alternating (X/X) frequency.

  • ‡Anchor points are non-acupuncture points used in conjunction with acupuncture points to facilitate EA.

  • NR, not reported; EA = electroacupuncture; MA = manual acupuncture; STRICTA, Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture.