Ugeskr Læger 2010;172(4):289-293
Summary Use of acupuncture for labour augmentation Ugeskr Læger 2010;172(4):289-293 Background: In Denmark, 45% of all primiparas and 12% of multiparas with uneventful pregnancies are augmented in order to treat dystocia. Augmentation using oxytocin is associated with uterine hyperstimulation, uterine rupture and foetal death. Currently, no studies show that acupuncture is effective for augmentation. Material and methods: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial with women diagnosed with dystocia. In the acupuncture group, the women had acupuncture in SP6, KI3, KI6, BL60, LI4 and acupressure on BL67. The control group received no treatment. The primary outcome was progression in cervical dilatation within two hours. The secondary outcomes were length of labour, lenght of second stage, use of augmentation, use of analgesia, caesarean section rate and number of instrumental deliveries. Results: A total of 84 women were randomised. There was no significant difference between the groups with regard to dilatation from randomization to effect assessment (p = 0.54). In the acupuncture group, the mean difference was 1.3 cm (0.69-1.91). In the control group, the mean difference was 1.56 (0.6-2.52). 27% of the women with dystocia delivered spontaneously without augmentation. No major side effects of acupuncture treatment were reported. Conclusion: This study showed no effect of acupuncture treatment for primary or secondary inertia. Keywords: acupuncture, labour, augmentation.