Electrical stimulation has no adverse effect on pregnant rats and fetuses

J Urol. 1999 Nov;162(5):1785-7.


Purpose: Electrical stimulation has been considered a contraindication in pregnant women with various voiding dysfunctions, because of the potential to cause teratogenicity or abortion. However, it is not known whether electrical stimulation can cause fetal malformation or abortion. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether electrical stimulation has any adverse effect on pregnant rats and fetuses.

Materials and methods: Twenty Sprague-Dawley pregnant rats were divided into two groups: electrical stimulation group (n = 10) and sham controls (n = 10). Rats in the stimulation group were stimulated 7 hours every day from Day 4 to Day 20 of gestation. All pregnant rats were sacrificed and fetuses were examined at near term (Day 20 of gestation). The number of fetuses, resorptions, fetal liability, body weight and gross appearance were recorded. Viscera and skeleton stained with Alizarin Red S were examined under stereoscope.

Results: All pregnant rats were healthy during the gestation period and no abortions were noted. Fetal body weight in the stimulation group (2.27 +/- 0.51 gm.) was not significantly different from sham group (2.13 +/- 0.51 gm.; p = 0.91). No significant difference was found in the number of resorptions between both groups. All fetuses were alive at the time of cesarean section. No fetal malformation was observed in gross appearance, viscera and skeleton of all rats.

Conclusions: Electrical stimulation did not have any adverse effect on pregnant rats and their fetuses. Termination of pregnancy is not advised for prospective mothers when electrical stimulation has been performed inadvertently in early pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fetus*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley