TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) for Primary Dysmenorrhea: An Overview.

Study, published 08.01.2020[1]:


Primary dysmenorrhea (PD) has a negative effect on almost every facet of a woman’s life for a few days each month over a period of multiple years. Managing PD with pharmacological agents is associated with considerable undesirable side effects.

The major advantages of TENS are that is it is an easy-to-use, safe, portable, battery-operated, and relatively inexpensive device. The action mechanism of TENS is based on the enhancement of the endogenous inhibition and the suppression of central excitability.

The evoked results of previous studies demonstrated the positive effects of TENS in reducing pain and related PD symptoms, the improvement of the quality of life, and the decreased use of additional analgesics.

Although these studies were associated with some flaws and limitations in their methodological quality and therapeutic validity, herein, recommendations and considerations for the effective use of TENS for managing PD were outlined.

Regular, continuous self-administration in accordance with the appearance of PD symptoms is suggested after the initial patient education and setting, and after the adjustment of the TENS parameters by the therapist.

Electrode placement should not be fixed at one point but should be moved and placed on the painful area(s). A HF (100 Hz) is suggested owing to the proven effectiveness with PD and the comfortable, convenient use. LF TENS may be considered in special cases of regular analgesic consumption.

The most important parameter is the current intensity, which should be set to a nonpainful, maximal tolerable intensity levelThe intensity should be increased continually throughout the treatment session to maintain an intense sensation and avoid habituation.

TENS is probably ineffective for women who cannot reach and maintain increased current intensities.



[1] Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6955615/