The aim of this case control study was to evaluate the thus far controversially discussed influence of acupuncture (AP) on the duration of labor. Fifty-seven women with AP treatment (group A) were included in our study after spontaneous vaginal full-term delivery. The control group included 63 women (group B). Median duration of the first stage of labor was 196 min in group A and 321 min in group B (Wilcoxon 2-sample test, p < 0.0001). Median duration of the second stage of labor was 57 min in group A and 57 min in group B (Wilcoxon 2-sample test, p = 0.82). Thirty women had a premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), in group A 66.7% and in group B 33.3% (χ2 test, p = 0.02). Women without AP (group B) received significantly more often oxytocin during the first stage of labor compared with group A women (85 and 15%, respectively, χ2 test, p = 0.01) as well as during the second stage of labor (72 and 28%, respectively, χ2 test, p = 0.03). Our study suggests that AP treatment is a recommendable form of childbirth preparation due to its positive effect on the duration of labor, namely by shortening the first stage of labor.

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