Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 287, Issue 5, pp 887–891 | Cite as

Effects of acupuncture for initiation of labor: a double-blind randomized sham-controlled trial

  • Ladan Ajori
  • Leila Nazari
  • Dariush Eliaspour
Maternal-Fetal Medicine



This double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate whether use of acupuncture could initiate labor at term and thus reduce post-term induction.


Between 2010 and 2011, a total of 80 women at 38 weeks of gestation or greater were randomized to acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups. Acupuncture points LI4, SP6 and BL67 were needled bilaterally. The primary outcome was initiation of labor. The time from acupuncture to delivery, mode of delivery, fetal and maternal outcome and Apgar scores were recorded. The trial is registered at, number IRCT201111218151N1.


Eighty women were randomized and 75 women completed the study procedure. Age, BMI, parity and gestational age were similar in both groups. Spontaneous labor was initiated in 94.7 % of acupuncture group and 89.2 % of sham acupuncture group (p = 0.430). There were no statistically significant difference between groups for time from enrollment to delivery (p = 0.06).


According to this study, it seems that acupuncture was not effective in labor initiation compared to sham acupuncture.


Acupuncture Randomized controlled trial Post-term pregnancy Sham acupuncture 



Randomized controlled trail


Body mass index


Large intestine 4


Spleen 6


Bladder 67


Gestational age


Normal vaginal delivery


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tajrish HospitalShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tajrish HospitalShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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