Electroacupuncture for cervical ripening prior to labor induction: a randomized clinical trial
The present study was aimed to compare the effects of the use of electroacupuncture and misoprostol in inducing labor in patients with Bishop score < 7 and to observe the characteristics of labor in both methods.
As much as 67 pregnant women with Bishop score < 7, single cephalic presentation with gestational age confirmed by first-trimester ultrasound, reactive cardiotocography, and amniotic fluid volume and estimated fetal weight within the respective normal ranges for gestational age were selected. They were randomized into 2 groups: electroacupuncture (AC) or misoprostol (M).
There were no significant differences regarding age, gestational age, fetal weight, parity, Bishop score, or indication for induction. Labor was the main outcome, which was obtained in both groups without significant difference regarding frequency (p = 0.07) and time of induction (p = 0.29). Absence of obstetric complication, higher duration of labor (p = 0.036), and tendency to a higher satisfaction of the patients (p = 0.046) were observed among patients of group AC. Higher frequency of cesarean sections (p = 0.014) and obstetric complications (9.3%) were observed among patients of group M.
Our results showed that electroacupuncture can be used to obtain cervical ripening, with similar results as compared with misoprostol, with a significantly higher frequency of vaginal deliveries and without occurrence of obstetric complications.