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12-month warranty
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Professionally endorsed

Can You Use a TENS Machine to Induce Labour?

The body passes several pain thresholds during labour. Muscle contractions of the uterus and pressure on the cervix cause labour pain. There would be strong cramping and aching sensations in the abdomen. The pain may also radiate to the sides or thighs. Most women seek comfort at the onset of contraction. There are clinics offering TENS for hire to help ease the pain during labour. A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine is a battery-operated device that can provide temporary pain relief. The iTENS from iTENS Australia has helped many women manage labour pain naturally. The device sends mild electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves to suppress pain. However, can you use a TENS machine to induce labour? 

Most women will begin labour between 37 to 40 weeks when the contractions start.  However, there are instances where the doctor or midwife recommends inducing labour. Various methods can help, like exercise, nipple stimulation, and acupuncture. Unfortunately, using a TENS machine to induce labour is not one of them. Rather, you may use a TENS machine at the early stage of labour when the contractions start. The iTENS can help reduce the dull or aching sensation in the lower back or abdomen. Additionally, inducing labour is necessary for the following conditions:

  • You are approaching two weeks beyond your due date, and natural contractions have not started.
  • Your water has broken, but labour has not begun. 
  • Infections in the uterus
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease

TENS machine to induce labour: Purpose of TENS

A TENS machine comprises a set of electrodes placed on the skin near the area of pain. It is a drug-free method to reduce acute and chronic pain. TENS therapy can relieve the pain symptoms of conditions like arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and period pain. The electrical impulses cause the pain gating mechanism in the spinal cord to block or control the pain signals. When the nerve pathways close, the brain does not receive messages and transmit the signals. Additionally, TENS also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. As a result, the body perceives lesser pain. TENS treatment is also effective in relieving pain during early labour. If you plan to use TENS, consult your doctor to make arrangements or prepare. However, it is important to remember that using a TENS machine to induce labour is not advisable.


TENS for Labour Pain

It is not advisable to use a TENS machine to induce labour. However, they can effectively help relieve discomfort during the early stages. The machine produces mild tingling sensations which are strong but not overwhelming. You may also control the intensity to help you find the most relief. A TENS machine in hospitals or clinics uses wired electrodes placed on the skin. Alternatively, the iTENS is a wireless TENS device giving extra comfort during labour. Moreover, using TENS for labour pain offers the following advantages:

  • Reduces pain in the lower abdomen and back – The electrical stimulation helps reduce contractions’ excruciating sensations. The tingling sensation from the device also acts as a distraction from the contractions.
  • Natural and drug-free method – TENS is a natural and toxic-free method for pain relief. Using TENS reduces the need for medicines. Likewise, it does not produce adverse side effects. 
  • Allows movement – The wireless electrodes of iTENS enable you to move freely to help ease labour contractions. 
  • Suitable for home use – You can use TENS safely at home when contractions happen at any time. 
  • Non-invasive – The electrode pads stick firmly but gently to the skin. It is less intrusive than other methods like injections or medicines. 
  • Programmable unit – You can control the intensity of TENS treatment. The iTENS is an app-controlled unit that you can access from your smartphone.
  • Safe for the mother and baby – Using TENS for relieving labour pain does not harm the mother and the baby. 

TENS machine to induce Labour: Safety and Applications 

Safety is a top consideration when seeking various pain relief methods. The wireless iTENS is a safe medical device for relieving acute and chronic pain symptoms. Many women also find them beneficial for reducing intense sensations during the early stages of labour. Even though a TENS machine to induce labour is not advisable, you can still use it safely when the contractions start. Place the electrode pads on the lower back below the bra line and above the buttocks to apply TENS. Then turn the unit on and adjust the frequency. You may start with the lowest intensity and gradually increase it as you adapt to the stimulation. Avoid turning the frequency too high that it causes discomfort. Most importantly, use a TENS machine upon the instruction of an obstetrician or midwife to ensure safe delivery. 


The iTENS: Wireless TENS for Labour

The iTENS from iTENS Australia is suitable for treating a variety of painful health conditions and injuries. It has a set of wireless electrode pads to place on the skin conveniently. The electrode pads have Bluetooth connectivity that you can pair with an Android or iOS device. Moreover, the iTENS companion app features various pre-set modes for easy use. You can choose from the wide treatment based on body parts or conditions. The app also allows you to modify your therapy under manual mode. The electrical impulses can give a therapeutic effect during or after the session. Despite being safe to use, devices like the iTENS still have precautionary measures. Health professionals do not recommend using a TENS machine to induce labour. It should also not be used for the first 36 weeks during pregnancy. Additionally, ensure that the stimulation does not cause muscle contractions. 

TENS Machine to Induce Labour: The Guide on Using TENS

Labour pain might cause some discomfort. Therefore, managing labour pain can be crucial for making the process feel more bearable. The TENS is an effective pain management device used to ease discomfort in the early stages of labour. Although using a TENS machine to induce labour is not allowed, using TENS during labour might help shorten the active labour phase. Additionally, it is best to use a TENS machine under the direct supervision of a doctor or midwife. You can get a highly effective personal TENS device online from iTENS Australia. The wireless iTENS is ideal for treating various pain conditions at any time or place, allowing you to use it several times a day. The iTENS has slim gel pads which stick to the skin comfortably. They are also discreet when worn under the clothes. However, you should avoid using TENS under specific circumstances like:

  • On open wounds or broken skin
  • On the head
  • Throat or upper neck
  • On the chest
  • In the water or birth pool
  • While driving
  • While sleeping 

People with the following conditions should also avoid using a TENS machine:

  • Cancer
  • Heart diseases
  • Epilepsy
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • With cardiac pacemakers or other electrical implants in the body

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