Background: Acupuncture is as an ancient system of diagnosis and treatment. It is regarded as a complementary tool for pain management.
Aims: To assess the effects of acupuncture on nulliparous women during labour with respect to pain, labour duration and maternal acceptability.
Methods: One hundred and forty-four healthy nulliparous women in active phase were randomised into the study and control group, receiving real and minimal acupuncture, respectively. Visual analogue scale was used to assess pain. Objectives were to evaluate acupuncture effect on pain and labour duration and patients' willingness to receive acupuncture for subsequent pregnancies.
Results: Visual analogue scale pain score in the study group was lower after two hours. Active phase duration and the oxytocin units administered were lower in the study group. Study group patients had greater willingness to receive acupuncture again. No adverse effects were detected.
Conclusions: Acupuncture could reduce pain experience, active phase duration and oxytocin units. Patients were satisfied and no adverse effects were noted.