Acupoint Stimulation Can Help Induce Labor

Conclusions: The authors’ experience indicates that acupuncture can be helpful in accelerating the dilation of the cervix: the treatment is effective in about 75% of patients.

Allais, G., et al. Acupuncture in labor management. Minerva ginecologica 55(6): 503-10.

Acupuncture is being increasingly used in Western medical practice. The authors review the various applications of acupuncture during labor in this paper. This ancient therapeutic technique can be employed with a significant percentage of positive results to induce labor in post-term pregnancies, to strengthen uterine contractility and to favor cervical maturation.

The electrostimulating acupoints LI 4 Hegu and SP 6 Sanyinjiao is the most frequently used treatment in labor induction and in increasing the frequency and duration of uterine contractions. Moreover, the authors’ experience indicates that the BL 67 Zhiyin can be helpful in accelerating the dilation of the cervix: the treatment is effective in about 75% of patients.

The studies on the use of acupuncture to achieve pain relief and analgesia during labor are more controversial, mainly due to the great heterogeneity of applied treatments and some methodological biases. Nevertheless, the general evidence seems to be positive also for this application.

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