Dealing with menstrual cramps every month can be unbearable and disruptive to the daily lives of women. For centuries, they have been searching for ways to reduce the pain and discomfort. From hot water bottles to painkillers, they may have tried it all. However, recent advancements in technology have introduced a new solution, which is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). Period TENS relieves cramps by sending mild electric currents through the skin to stimulate the nerves.
TENS is a revolutionary method offering women a drug-free way to fight menstrual cramps. It also helps manage other associated symptoms, such as lower back pain or headaches. Those who want to have less intake of oral painkillers and seek a natural alternative can use TENS. For more information, the next sections will present how it works, its potential benefits, and whether it is a suitable option for alleviating period pain.
How Period TENS Works
Period TENS is a method of pain relief that utilises electrical currents to target and reduce pain. It works by flooding the nervous system through the use of electrical pulses. These pulses are delivered through electrode pads attached to the abdomen or lower back. They target the sensory nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals.
Using a TENS device can provide relief from cramps. The electrical impulses produced by the device stimulate the nerves. It leads to the release of endogenous opioids, which act as natural painkillers. By increasing the comfort level and reducing the intensity of pain, TENS can significantly improve the quality of life for people with period pain.
Moreover, TENS is effective in reducing pain from primary dysmenorrhea, which is characterised by painful periods without an underlying medical condition. However, it is important to note that it may not be as effective in cases of secondary dysmenorrhea, which conditions such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease cause. Hence, it is advisable to seek medical advice before use.
How to Operate the Device
The following is the step-by-step procedure to operate a TENS unit:
- Begin by ensuring that it is fully charged or has fresh batteries inserted.
- Clean the area of the body where the electrodes will be placed.
- Attach the pads to the device and peel off the protective backing.
- Place the electrode pads onto the pain site. Make sure that they are evenly spaced and firmly secured.
- Turn on the machine and adjust the intensity level to a comfortable setting.
- Start with a low frequency, usually 2-5 pulses per second. Gradually increase if necessary.
- Turn it off after 20-30 minutes and carefully remove the electrodes.
Benefits of a Period TENS
A period TENS device offers several benefits for people experiencing menstrual pain or period cramps. One of which is its ability to provide natural pain relief. Instead of relying on traditional painkillers, which can come with adverse side effects, the device harnesses electrical impulses to trigger the release of endorphins, which are the natural pain relief system of the body.
Moreover, using a TENS machine can offer long-term benefits in managing period pain. Regular stimulation of the sensory nerves through the device helps desensitise them over time. This leads to a reduction in the intensity of menstrual pains. Consistent use can also improve the comfort level and overall well-being of individuals. It allows them to carry out their daily activities without being hindered by pain.
Furthermore, TENS is versatile. Not only can it reduce period cramps, but it can help reduce lower back pain and pelvic pain. It also aids the pain management of various acute and chronic pain conditions, ranging from postoperative pain to fibromyalgia. It can be a cost-effective purchase for women if they utilise the unit for other pains and future medical conditions.
Potential Side Effects
Generally, TENS is safe and well-tolerated, but there are a few potential side effects to be aware of. Some individuals may experience mild skin irritation or redness in the area where they place the pads. Adjusting their placement or using hypoallergenic pads can help. Also, it is important to keep the skin clean before applying the electrodes to minimise the risk of a reaction.
Additionally, people may experience their muscles twitching during the electrical stimulation. This is usually temporary and subsides once they turn off the device. Adjusting the settings may reduce these sensations. If discomfort persists, speak to a doctor for further guidance.
Safety Precautions When Using a Period TENS
Women should be aware of some safety precautions before, during, and after using a period TENS unit. It is essential to read the instructions or manual that the manufacturer provides. Not following the proper guidelines may lead to adverse effects or ineffective pain relief. If any questions arise about its use, contact a healthcare provider for extra details.
It is also important to avoid placing the electrodes over broken or irritated skin. Moreover, it is advisable not to attach the pads near areas with a known injury. Otherwise, it can increase the risk of further irritation or damage. When used correctly and safely, a TENS device can provide effective and comfortable relief from menstrual pain.
In addition, it is crucial to store the TENS machine in a dry place for its proper functioning. People should not expose it to extreme temperatures, moisture, or water. If it comes into contact with these elements, they can damage its components. Additionally, leaving it in a humid environment can cause corrosion of the metal parts, which will reduce its lifespan.
When to Seek Medical Help
Although TENS can be an effective tool for managing menstrual pain, there are instances where seeking medical help is necessary. Severe and debilitating cramps or pain that persists even with the use of TENS may prompt medical advice. Furthermore, consult a professional if trying various methods of pain relief, including over-the-counter medicines and natural remedies, do not provide adequate relief.
Doctors can evaluate symptoms and provide a comprehensive assessment to determine the underlying cause of the pain. This is particularly important if there are pre-existing medical conditions like endometriosis, or if the period is accompanied by other symptoms like heavy bleeding or fever.
A period TENS device is safe and effective for menstrual pain or cramps. With its ability to target primary dysmenorrhea and provide natural pain relief, it is a valuable alternative to traditional pain medication. Desensitising sensory nerves through electrical stimulation has long-term benefits. It reduces period pain and enhances quality of life. By following the proper usage instructions and incorporating this device into a pain management routine, individuals can find significant relief from period discomfort.
Although adverse effects are rare, it is important to prioritise safety and well-being. Speaking with a healthcare professional can provide women with appropriate guidance and ensure that they are using the machine correctly. Also, if the pain is too much or TENS does not work, doctors can offer additional options, such as hormonal therapies. Plus, they can advise on lifestyle changes or refer pain specialists or gynecologists for further evaluation and management of the symptoms.