A randomized controlled trial of nerve stimulation for relief of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy

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Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of low-level nerve stimulation therapy over the volar aspect of the wrist at the P6 point to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Methods: Pregnant volunteers (n = 230) with symptoms of mild to severe nausea and vomiting between 6 and 12 weeks' gestation participated in a 21-day clinical trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a device for nerve stimulation therapy or an otherwise identical but nonstimulating placebo device. The primary outcome measure was self-recorded symptoms according to the Rhodes Index of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching (Rhodes Index). Secondary outcome measures were medication use, weight gain, and presence of urinary ketones. Results: Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. A total of 187 women (81%) completed the trial. Pretreatment Rhodes Index scores for the entire population demonstrated no significant differences between study and control groups. The time-averaged change in Rhodes Index total experience of 6.48 for the study group was significantly better than the control value of 4.65 (P = .02). Study patients gained more weight than controls (2.9 versus 1.2 lb, P = .003). There were no statistically significant differences in medication use or urinary ketone measurements. Conclusion: Nerve stimulation therapy is effective in reducing nausea and vomiting and promoting weight gain in symptomatic women in the first trimester of pregnancy. © 2003 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.




Rosen, T., De Veciana, M., Miller, H. S., Stewart, L., Rebarber, A., & Slotnick, R. N. (2003). A randomized controlled trial of nerve stimulation for relief of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 102(1), 129–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0029-7844(03)00375-2

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