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Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Nov;112(5):1067-74. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31818b46bb.

Acupuncture to induce labor: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Women's and Children's Health Research Institute, the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. caroline.smith@uws.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture to induce labor.

METHODS:

This study was a randomized controlled trial of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture. Women who were scheduled for a postterm induction with a singleton pregnancy and cephalic presentation were eligible for the study. Women received two acupuncture or sham acupuncture sessions over a 2-day period before the planned medical/pharmacological induction. The principal primary outcomes related to the need for induction methods and time from the administration of the intervention to delivery.

RESULTS:

Three hundred sixty-four women were randomly assigned to the trial (treatment n=181 and control n=183). Women did not differ in their need for induction methods between groups: prostaglandin induction: relative risk (RR) 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96-1.51, P=.11; artificial rupture of membranes only: RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.72-1.20, P=.57; oxytocin only: RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.60-1.32, P=.55; artificial rupture of membranes plus oxytocin: RR 0.87, 95% CI 0.57-1.33, P=.52; prostaglandins, artificial rupture of membranes, and oxytocin: RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.37-1.91, P=.68. The median time from acupuncture to delivery was 68.6 hours (interquartile range 53.9-79.5) compared with 65 hours (interquartile range 49.3-76.3) for women in the control group.

CONCLUSION:

Two sessions of manual acupuncture, using local and distal acupuncture points, administered 2 days before a scheduled induction of labor did not reduce the need for induction methods or the duration of labor for women with a postterm pregnancy.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, www.anzctr.org.au, ACTRN12606000494538

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

I.

PMID:
18978107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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