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Acupuncture for the induction of labour: a double-blind randomised controlled study

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Please cite this paper as: Modlock J, Nielsen B, Uldbjerg N. Acupuncture for the induction of labour: a double-blind randomised controlled study. BJOG 2010;117:1255–1261. Objective 

To investigate whether acupuncture is effective for the induction of labour in post-term pregnancies. Design 

A double-blind multicentre randomised controlled study. Settings 

Aarhus University Hospital and Herning Regional Hospital, Denmark. Population 

One hundred and twenty-five healthy women with uneventful pregnancies at gestational week 41+6 were randomised into two groups. Methods 

The intervention group was given acupuncture twice on the same day at acupuncture point GV20 and bilaterally at points BL67, LI4 and SP6. The control group received sham acupuncture at the same points. Main outcome measures 

At effect evaluation, which was carried out 24 hours after randomisation, the primary endpoint was labour or delivery. Results 

The primary endpoint was achieved in seven women (12%) in the acupuncture group and eight women (14%) in the control group (P = 0.79). Stratification for parity and fetal gender did not alter the results. Conclusion 

Under the treatment regimen investigated in this study, acupuncture for the induction of labour in post-term women at gestational age 41+6 weeks may not be effective.

Keywords: Acupuncture; labour induction; prolonged pregnancy; sham acupuncture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Herning Regional Hospital, Herning 2: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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