Acupuncture applied at term may be effective in reducing the rate of labour induction performed for post-dates pregnancy, according to Italian researchers.
Three-hundred and seventy five women at 40 weeks gestation received either acupuncture or routine care.
Acupuncture (Hegu L.I.-4, Sanyinjiao SP-6, Zusanli ST-36, Taichong LIV-3, Zhiyin BL-67, Jianjing GB-21, Fengshi GB-31) was applied every other day from 40 weeks plus two days up to 41 weeks plus four days.
Results:Women who underwent acupuncture experienced a higher rate of spontaneous delivery (75 per cent versus 52.8 per cent) and delivered earlier than controls (289 days versus 291 days). The rate of labour induction differed significantly between acupuncture and routine care groups (19.6 per cent versus 38 per cent), and in particular women acupuncture showed a lower rate of induction indicated for prolonged pregnancy (5.3 per cent versus 10.1 per cent).
No differences were observed between the two groups with regard to prostaglandin use, however the rate of oxytocin use was lower in the acupuncture group.
The rate of operative delivery was lower in women treated with acupuncture, compared with the control group (6.3 per cent versus 11.4 per cent).
Authors: Neri I1, Pignatti L2, Fontanesi F2, Facchinetti F2.
Acupuncture in Post-Date Pregnancy Management. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2018 Jun 8. pii: S2005-2901(17)30196-6.