Labor pain is one of the most severe kinds of pain a women experiences in their lifetime. There have been many instances, where doctors have tried figuring out solutions to lower the pain without compromising the health of the mother and fetus. But, to everyone’s surprise still the success rate is low. Tranquilizers, morphine and various other analgesics are commonly used to reduce pain during the labor but the side-effects they cause is still a major concern.
Electrical Stimulation by TENS is another potential, non-pharmacological method to overcome the pain experienced during labor. The research based analysis reveals that TENS application during labor did not affect the childbirth process’s consequences, the maternal outcomes, and the fetal outcomes. Installation of Electrostimulation devices in the labor care units can surely help in easy, pain-less deliveries with minimal side-effects.
Let’s explore more to understand how did TENS become a popular alternative to conventional analgesics in labor pain management.
What is TENS?
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) refers to the electrical stimulation that is meant to aid in chronic or acute pain. A TENS device can be handheld, Tabletop or Clinical model. As a combination of several current modalities the Electrotherapy devices with different current modalities can be used for different conditions like cancer treatment, pain-management, and many more. To understand the application of TENS in labor pain we need to get deeper into the mechanism of its working during the labor pain.
The GATE control Theory of the Labor Pain Control
The GATE control theory of pain management says that the brain can perceive only a limited amount of information in a certain period of time. During the application of TENS, the brain cannot actually sense the pain the woman is experiencing during the labor which facilitates easy parturition and lesser pain.
Effect of High-Intensity TENS and Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Control
A high-intensity TENS in turn facilitates the condition of more pain in order to trigger the body to produce more pain-relieving hormones, endorphins. The application produces a situation where the body generates its own morphine to induce relief. The high-intensity application also promotes the contraction that eventually leads to parturition.
Clinical Studies Supporting TENS during Labor
#1. Dowswell et. al Cochrane Review & Meta-Analysis : 2011
Conclusive Result: No bad outcomes or adverse events were reported in the study. Minor skin irritation or swelling under some of the pads was seen.
#2. Shaban et al.: 2013
Conclusive Result: Amongst two groups of labor pain experiencing individuals, the one administered with Demerol experienced drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. On the other hand, the individuals having no Demerol, only TENS did not experience any dizziness, nausea, or any other side-effects.
#3. Shantana et al : 2016
Conclusive Result: TENS helped the people in the treatment group postpone their need for pain medication.
#4. Shahoei et al : 2017
Conclusive Result: Maximal pain reduction in the majority of participants in the clinical trial. Only 7% percent of the participants found the pain to be severe, rest 60% of them didn’t remember the pain in the fourth stage of the labor pain.
TENS: Perfect alternative to analgesics
Analgesics have a number of side effects on the mother and fetus at the time of birth, this has led to doctors finding ways to avoid the sedatives and pain medication at the time of labor. TENS on the other hand does not have any side effects on the baby and mother. Johari’s wide range of US FDA cleared Electrotherapy solution with TENS in handheld, table-top and clinical models on are proven to help in pain management in pre & post natal stages. Our portfolio comprises of many other ready-to-market US FDA cleared Electrostimulation technologies too.
With 45+ years of experience in developing technologies based on TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), Interferential Current (IFC) Electrical Stimulation, High Voltage Electrical Stimulation, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Functional Electrical Stimulation, Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation, Russian Electrical Stimulation, Galvanic Electrical Stimulation, Cranial Electrical Stimulation and Faradic Electrical Stimulation we can readily give you desired combination for your requirement/application. If you’re looking to expand your brand portfolio in electrotherapy segment we’ll be happy to customize our electrotherapy technologies for your brand at an optimized cost.
Planning to choose Electrotherapy for Labor Pain Management?
The electrical stimulation offers reduced pain during labor. The combo-therapy – WinStim is a US FDA 510(k) cleared device having a wide range of pain management applications. The WinStim device can be a potential substitute for conventional pain medication used during labor pain.
Unlike conventional pain medication & tranquilizers, mothers will not experience any side effects, as this is a non-invasive method for relieving pain during labor pain. The pain medication leads to vomiting, nausea, and drowsiness in newly born babies and mothers. Using Electrostimulation technologies the deliveries can be made easier, safer, and less painful.
The Electrostimulation technology will be a valuable addition to labor pain management units & will also be an effective tool for the post-delivery pain management of new mothers.
Is TENS approved by FDA for pain management?
The FDA has approved TENS for chronic and acute pain management. TENS is utilized for post-surgery and traumatic pain. It’s use in the labor pain has been a popular application since 1970s.
How is TENS used for pain relief during labor?
The electrodes are applied to the lower back and spine on both the sides for TENS application during the labor pain.
Are there any side-effects of TENS during labor?
No, there are no side-effects, except mild redness can be experienced in several cases.
Can TENS be used with other methods of pain control?
Yes, it can be used with other methods of pain control.
How effective is TENS over tranquillizers and analgesics during labor pain?
Unlike medication, TENS has no side-effects and it does not cause dizziness, heavy head or nausea. This makes it a suitable alternative for the existing medication in pain relief during labor pain.