Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation as an Additional Treatment for Women Suffering from Therapy-Resistant Provoked Vestibulodynia: A Feasibility Study

Marleen S. Vallinga, Symen K. Spoelstra, Inge L. M. Hemel, Harry B. M. van de Wiel, Willibrord C. M. Weijnnar Schultz

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    Abstract

    IntroductionThe current approach to women with provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) comprises a multidimensional, multidisciplinary therapeutic protocol. As PVD is considered to be a chronic pain disorder, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be used as an additional therapy for women with otherwise therapy-resistant PVD.

    AimsThe aims of this study were to evaluate whether TENS has a beneficial effect on vulvar pain, sexual functioning, and sexually-related personal distress in women with therapy-resistant PVD and to assess the effect of TENS on the need for vestibulectomy.

    MethodsA longitudinal prospective follow-up study was performed on women with therapy-resistant PVD who received additional domiciliary TENS. Self-report questionnaires and visual analog scales (VASs) were completed at baseline (T1), post-TENS (T2), and follow-up (T3).

    Main Outcome MeasuresVulvar pain, sexual functioning, and sexually-related personal distress were the main outcome measures.

    ResultsThirty-nine women with therapy-resistant PVD were included. Mean age was 275.6years (range: 19 to 41); mean duration between TENS and T3 follow-up was 10.1 +/- 10.7months (range: 2 to 32). Vulvar pain VAS scores directly post-TENS (median 3.4) and at follow-up (median 3.2) were significantly (P

    ConclusionThe addition of self-administered TENS to multidimensional treatment significantly reduced the level of vulvar pain and the need for vestibulectomy. The long-term effect was stable. These results not only support our hypothesis that TENS constitutes a feasible and beneficial addition to multidimensional treatment for therapy-resistant PVD, but also the notion that PVD can be considered as a chronic pain syndrome. Vallinga MS, Spoelstra SK, Hemel ILM, van de Wiel HBM, and Weijmar Schultz WCM. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation as an additional treatment for women suffering from therapy-resistant provoked vestibulodynia: A feasibility study. J Sex Med 2015;12:228-237.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-237
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
    Volume12
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015

    Keywords

    • Dyspareunia
    • Provoked Vestibulodynia
    • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
    • Vulvar Pain
    • Female Sexual Pain Disorders
    • Genito-Pelvic Pain
    • Penetration Disorder
    • Vestibulectomy
    • SEXUAL PAIN DISORDERS
    • DISTRESS SCALE FSDS
    • FUNCTION INDEX FSFI
    • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
    • VULVAR VESTIBULITIS
    • CONTROLLED-TRIAL
    • DYSPAREUNIA
    • CLASSIFICATION
    • DYSFUNCTION
    • MANAGEMENT

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