Testing a Repurposed Device to Improve the Treatment of Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women
Principal Investigator: Dr. A. Lenore Ackerman
Disease: Chronic pelvic pain
Research Description: Myofascial pelvic pain (MPP) is a frequently overlooked cause of chronic pelvic pain that affects 10-20% of all adult women. The debilitating effects of MPP extend beyond physical pain to impact psychosocial outlook, relationships, and productivity. Despite high prevalence and societal costs, few effective therapies for MPP exist. Although electrical stimulation to induce pelvic floor muscle fatigue has been shown to reduce pain, improve circulation, and promote tissue healing in MPP, it has proven difficult to implement in gynecologic practice due to lack of access and shortages of skilled personnel. This project aims to repurpose transvaginal electrical stimulation (HF-TES) devices currently used to treat incontinence in women and already available in gynecologic settings. This randomized, controlled trial will enroll 60 women with MPP to determine the efficacy of HF-TES electrical stimulation in comparison to usual care. Nursing staff without prior experience will also be trained to deliver this therapy to determine the feasibility of training general medical personnel to deliver such therapy, possibly allowing for the greater availability of providers capable of managing this prevalent condition. Relief for those affected by MPP would reduce the healthcare-related economic impact of this condition and would allow these debilitated individuals to improve the profound disability brought by this pain and recover day-to-day functionality and engagement.
Funding Partners: Cures Within Reach
CWR funding role: Primary funder