I'm not sure whether or not I should be following this path, but I need to know for the future. (some of this may be too much info for some of you)
Some of you may have read that on July 4th, at 22 weeks my husband and I lost our baby. I was told I had an incompetent cervix. Basically what happened was my cervix opened (was at 3cm when I went in), and part of my water sac came through the cervix and hour glassed. When I first went in I started having very mild contractions.
My question is this - due to severe muscle spasms in my upper back (that we found out were due to a bowel herniation later) my pain doctor wrote me out a script for a tens unit to be used on my upper or lower back. The rep who gave me the tens unit said to be careful not to put it on the head or neck, and to not use it on my stomach or that area as it could cause contractions.
I'm trying to figure out whether or not it is possible that the TENS unit caused me to go into preterm labor. After you give birth women bleed for quite a while - similar to a long period. I've found that when I use the TENS unit I tend to bleed more, and the blood seems to be more fresh. Which led me to wonder if the tens unit was causing it... which of course led to me wondering if it caused the problem to begin with.
I did a search on the web and there isn't a whole lot of information out there to be found. I have run across the following:
- someone was told not to use the TENS machine at all before 37 weeks
- Contraindications to the use of a TENS unit include:
* Patients with an implanted pacemaker
* Women who are pregnant - risk of premature labor
- Pregnancy: It is probably NOT a good idea to use TENS during pregnancy if it can be avoided - and this also applies to almost all other medications and treatments. TENS has not been proven to be safe during this time because of the risk that it may induce premature labor. However, treatment of stress and hyperemesis has been shown to be effective and appears without risk if used under medical instruction. It is NOT advisable to treat backache or the abdomen but some specific points on the arms and legs and ears may be used instead. It is recommended that you check with your medical advisor or midwife first for advice before you begin treatment. The use of TENS during childbirth, however, is well documented and research has shown it to be most helpful with many mothers in agreement.
Like I said, I'm not sure if I should even be looking into it as it's going to be very hard if I find out that it caused this. At the same time we are planning on trying again, and I need to know if it's safe to use the TENS unit then. Does anyone have any ideas? I've thought about calling the manufacturer but am not sure if they would tell me the truth.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"
Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.