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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Ginecologica 2003 December;55(6):503-10
Acupuncture in labor management
Allais G., Ciochetto D., Airola G., Schiapparelli P., Bosio A., Benedetto C.
Acupuncture is being increasingly used in Western medical practice. The various applications of acupuncture during labor are reviewed 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 favour cervical maturation. The acupoints LI 4 Hegu e SP 6 Sanyinjiao electrostimulated are those more frequently used in labor induction and in increasing the frequency and duration of uterine contractions. Moreover, our experience indicates that the acupoint 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 show more controversial results, 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.