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

Vallinga, M. S., Spoelstra, S. K., Hemel, I. L. M., van de Wiel, H. B. M. & Schultz, W. C. M. W., Jan-2015, In : Journal of Sexual Medicine. 12, 1, p. 228-237 10 p.

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  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation as an Additional Treatment for Women Suffering

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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
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015


  • 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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