Comparison of Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and Acupressure in Decreasing Labor Pain in Primiparous Women

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Fatemeh(P.B.U.H) Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Lecturer of Midwifery, Fatemeh(P.B.U.H) Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Introduction: Distress of pain during labor may threaten mother and fetus. This distress causes maternal hypertension and hypersecretion of epinephrine and norepinephrin. Pain control strategies consist of pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods. Yet, there is no ideal drug to control anxiety during labor since all the available drugs pass through placenta and cause fetal depression. The aim of this study was comparison of effect of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and acupressure in decreasing labor pain in primiparous women.
Methods: In present quasi-experimental study, 135 primiparous women randomly divided into three groups: acupressure, TENS, and control group. Intervention was begun in cervical dilatation of 3-4 cm on SP6 location for 30 minutes. Pressure in the first group and TENS like acupuncture in the second group were applied. No method was held on the third group. Pain severity was assessed by Visual Analog Scale in four phases in all groups: before intervention in dilatation of 3-4 cm, immediately after intervention, 30 and 60 minutes after intervention.
Results: The immediate, 30, and 60 minutes after intervention pain severity in first two groups was significantly lower than in control group. There was no significant difference between the acupressure and TENS groups before and immediately after intervention, but the labor pain 30 and 60 minutes after intervention was significantly lower in TENS group. (p<0.001)
Conclusion: Both TENS and acupressure methods decreased the pain during the first stage of labor in primiparous women but TENS was more effective.


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