Objective: To investigate whether acupuncture is effective for the induction of labour in post-term pregnancies.
Design: A double-blind multicentre randomised controlled study.
Settings: Aarhus University Hospital and Herning Regional Hospital, Denmark.
Population: One hundred and twenty-five healthy women with uneventful pregnancies at gestational week 41(+6) were randomised into two groups.
Methods: The intervention group was given acupuncture twice on the same day at acupuncture point GV20 and bilaterally at points BL67, LI4 and SP6. The control group received sham acupuncture at the same points.
Main outcome measures: At effect evaluation, which was carried out 24 hours after randomisation, the primary endpoint was labour or delivery.
Results: The primary endpoint was achieved in seven women (12%) in the acupuncture group and eight women (14%) in the control group (P = 0.79). Stratification for parity and fetal gender did not alter the results.
Conclusion: Under the treatment regimen investigated in this study, acupuncture for the induction of labour in post-term women at gestational age 41(+6) weeks may not be effective.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00245752.