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Acupuncture and Sexual Function
Most women suffering hot flashes aren't taking breast cancer drugs -- they're undergoing menopause. Acupuncture can help these women too, Walker and Konefal say.
"What we are looking for is for women undergoing menopause to feel vital and healthy and to go through what would be difficult with a lot more ease," Konefal says.
And improved sexual function is part of this restored vitality.
"Acupuncture can help women with this," Konefal says. "It can increase blood flow to an area of the body. One thing acupuncture now is used for is fertility. When women get in vitro insemination, they can get acupuncture before and after to increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and increase their chances of a normal pregnancy."
Men, too, can improve their sexual function with acupuncture treatment. Walker says acupuncture can ease the side effects of chemical castration -- androgen-deprivation therapy -- in men treated for prostate cancer.
Walker is presenting her findings in a presentation to the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, held Sept. 21-25, in Boston.