Pregnancy outcome following women's participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy

Complement Ther Med. 2002 Jun;10(2):78-83. doi: 10.1054/ctim.2002.0523.


Objectives: Recent studies have concluded that acupuncture is safe in the hands of a qualified practitioner. This study assessed the risk of adverse effects of acupuncture administered during pregnancy.

Methods: 593 women with nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy volunteered to participate in a randomised controlled trial, conducted at the Women's and Children's Hospital, in South Australia. Patients were given either traditional acupuncture, formula acupuncture, sham acupuncture or no acupuncture.

Outcome measures: Data were collected on perinatal outcome, congenital abnormalities, pregnancy complications and the newborn.

Results: No differences were found between study groups in the incidence of perinatal outcome, congenital abnormalities, pregnancy complications and other infant outcomes.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that no serious adverse effects arise from acupuncture administered in early pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / diagnosis
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / therapy*
  • Nausea / diagnosis
  • Nausea / therapy*
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • South Australia
  • Treatment Outcome