Nausea during early pregnancy? Try Acupuncture
Are you pregnant ? You suffering from nausea ?
Smith et al. published two articles from their research on acupuncture for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy which is the largest study to date. The first looked at its effectiveness of and the second at the safety of its treatment in early pregnancy.
Summary and conclusion
The objective was to compare: traditional treatment, at one point only, a sham treatment and none at all for nausea and vomiting. This study involved 593 women who were less than 14 weeks pregnant and were suffering pregnancy related nausea and vomiting. They were randomized into four groups and received treatment weekly. The acupuncture group, in which points were chosen according to a traditional diagnosis, received two 20 minute treatments in the first week followed by one weekly treatment for the next four weeks. The sham acupuncture group was needled at points close to but not on standard points and both the sham and one acupuncture point groups were treated with the same frequency as the traditional acupuncture group.
While all three groups reported improvement with nausea and dry retching, it was the traditional group that had the fastest response. Patients receiving traditional treatments also reported improvement in five aspects of general health status (vitality, social function, physical function, mental health and emotional role function) compared to improvement in two aspects with both the one acupuncture point group and sham acupuncture groups. In the no treatment group there was improvement in only one aspect.
Although there were no differences in vomiting found in any of the treatment groups the authors speculated that more frequent treatments might have produced greater benefits. In assessing the safety of acupuncture in early pregnancy data was collected on perinatal outcome, congenital abnormalities, pregnancy complications and problems of the newborn.
No differences were found between study groups in the incidence of these outcomes suggesting that there are no serious adverse effects from the use of acupuncture treatment in early pregnancy. The authors concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.
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