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Original report

Analgesia by sacral surface electrical stimulation for primary dysmenorrhoea

Mieko Yokozuka, Mayumi Nagai, Rieko Katsura, Kayoko Kenmyo
Preparing Section for New Faculty of Medical Science, Fukushima Medical University, 960-1295 Fukushima, Japan. E-mail: yokozuka@fmu.ac.jp
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000027

Preview of fully accepted paper, still not published in any volume

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effects of analgesia by sacral surface electrical stimulation on lower abdominal pain in women with primary dysmenorrhoea.
Design: Explorative study.
Participants: Eleven female university students, who regularly experience difficulty in their university work due to menstrual pain, or who use analgesics for more than one day each month, were recruited.
Methods: Sacral surface electrical stimulation, 5 Hz for 15 min, was performed after the onset of menstruation. Electrodes were placed on the skin, directly above the second and fourth sacral foramina. Visual analogue scale and degree of pain (calculated by using a low current to assess pain) were determined before and after electrical stimulation.
Results: Visual analogue scale score and degree of pain decreased significantly immediately after electrical stimulation (p<0.001). A correlation was observed between visual analogue scale score and degree of pain before and after electrical stimulation (r=0.516, p<0.001). No side-effects were observed in any participant.
Conclusion: Sacral surface electrical stimulation may provide immediate pain relief in women with dysmenorrhoea and lower abdominal pain.

Lay Abstract

Eleven female university students, who regularly experience difficulty performing their university work due to menstrual pain, or who use analgesics for more than one day each month, received electrical stimulation for relief of lower abdominal pain. Electrodes were placed on the skin over the lower region of the spine, while participants were in the prone position. Stimulation was performed for 15 min at a frequency of 5 Hz. Lower abdominal pain associated with menstruation decreased immediately after electrical stimulation; no side-effects were observed in any participant. For women who do not wish to take analgesics, electrical stimulation could be an option for complementary
therapy. These findings indicate that electrical stimulation of the skin over the lower spine may provide immediate relief of menstrual pain.

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