Debra Betts


Confidence in treating and supporting women experiencing threatened miscarriage. 

Despite a public and medical perception that acupuncture offers a drug free alternativefor pregnancy related issues, many acupuncturists remain concerned about the safety of providing treatment in early pregnancy. This may be especially so when women develop medical complications such as vaginal bleeding. Vaginal bleeding is a common occurrence, effecting approximately 25% of early pregnancies and termed as threatened miscarriage when a viable baby is found on ultrasound. This bleeding, even if termed spotting, is seen as a concern if it lasts longer than a day. This is because of known risk factors relating not only subsequent miscarriage but also late pregnancy loss and premature birth. However, medical treatment options for women presenting with threatened miscarriage are often limited to a ‘watch and wait’ approach. An approach that leaves many women feeling desperate and abandoned when they were expecting support. Acupuncture may be realistic option for these women, with research reporting a significant reduction in symptoms (including vaginal bleeding and cramping), compared to a control of touch.  It may be that acupuncturists concerns about treating in early pregnancy are limiting practice, with women not being offered a valuable treatment and a missed opportunity from acupuncturists to promote our profession to health professionals who lack medical treatment options.

Debra will present her PhD research into the use of acupuncture for threatened miscarriage. This includes a pilot randomised control trial, a survey of acupuncturists on their treatment approaches and interviews with medical health professionals on what they consider ‘best practice.’ Debra will share her treatment approaches and experiences of treating this common medical complication in early pregnancy. This will include important safety issues, how to promote and advertise acupuncture as a treatment option as well as clinical treatment considerations.

Event Timeslots (1)

Sunday 2nd August 2020
Confidence in treating and supporting women experiencing threatened miscarriage. Q&A