Transcutaneous electrostimulation for suspected placental insufficiency (diagnosed by Doppler studies)

No evidence to show whether blood flow through the placenta is improved in pregnant women who have transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy for suspected placental insufficiency.

Babies who do not get enough nutrients and oxygen from their mothers may compensate this situation with some changes in the blood vessels which may lead to placental insufficiency. Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the movement of blood between the uterus, placenta and baby during pregnancy. TENS is a therapeutic non-invasive therapy that provides electrical stimulation via electrodes placed onto the skin. For women who have suspected placental insufficiency diagnosed by Doppler ultrasound, the review has found no evidence to show whether TENS therapy improves blood flow between the uterus, placenta and the baby.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is not enough evidence to evaluate the use of transcutaneous electrostimulation in the management of women with suspected placental insufficiency.

Read the full abstract...

Transcutaneous electrostimulation is thought to be able to improve blood flow and so it has been suggested that it may help to promote fetal growth.


The objective was to assess the effects of transcutaneous electrostimulation in suspected placental insufficiency on the promotion of fetal growth.

Search strategy: 

We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (June 2009).

Selection criteria: 

Acceptably controlled trials of transcutaneous electrostimulation compared with placebo or no treatment in women with suspected impaired fetal growth or placental insufficiency.

Data collection and analysis: 

Trial quality was assessed.

Main results: 

No studies were included.