Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in reproductive-age women: a review of randomized controlled trials.Reprod Toxicol 2003 Mar-Apr; 17(2):137-52RT
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are widely used in the general population. This paper reviews randomized controlled trials of CAM therapies for obstetrical and gynecologic conditions and presents therapies that are likely to be used by women of reproductive age and by pregnant women.
Sources included English-language papers in MEDLINE 1966-2002 and AMED (1985-2000) and the authors' extensive holdings.
Randomized controlled clinical trials of CAM therapies for obstetric and gynecologic conditions.
Clinical information was extracted from the articles and summarized in tabular form or in the text.
Ninety-three trials were identified, 45 of which were for pregnancy-related conditions, 33 of which were for premenstrual syndrome, and 13 of which were for dysmenorrhea. Data support the use of acupressure for nausea of pregnancy and calcium for PMS. Preliminary studies indicate a role for further research on Vitamin B6 or ginger for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, or chaste-tree berry extract for PMS; and a low-fat diet, exercise, or fish oil supplementation for dysmenorrhea.
Limited evidence supports the efficacy of some CAM therapies. Exposure of women of reproductive age to these therapies can be expected.