Acupuncture/ pressurePainPregnancy

Acupuncture for pain relief during labor

Researchers at the University of Oxford, in the UK, assessed the role of acupuncture for epidural pain.

First, the details.

  • 105 nulliparae (had not given birth before) undergoing labor induction at term were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Acupuncture
    • Sham acupuncture
    • Control
  • The main outcome was the need for epidural analgesia during delivery.
  • Other outcomes measured included parenteral analgesia requirement, labor length, delivery mode, neonatal condition and postpartum hemorrhage.

And, the results.

  • There was no difference in epidural analgesia between acupuncture and sham acupuncture or between acupuncture and control.
  • There were no significant differences in the other outcomes between the acupuncture groups and the control group.
  • Side effects or complications of acupuncture were not identified.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “There was no analgesic benefit with acupuncture for pain relief during induced labor in nulliparae.

6/2/11 21:09 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.