The effects of local low-dose heat application on dysmenorrhea

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2014 Aug;27(4):216-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2013.11.003. Epub 2014 Mar 19.


Objectives: This is a controlled, prospective study which compares the effects of a low-dose heat patch for self-medication on the reduction of pain symptoms in dysmenorrhea.

Methods: The sample group included female sophomore students studying at a university in Istanbul, Turkey, between 2007 and 2008. These female participants completed the Dysmenorrhea Identification Form to determine the sample group, and a total of 193 female students possessed the eligible criteria. The research control group consisted of 66 patients, the analgesia group consisted of 61, and the heat patch group consisted of 66. The control group did not use any treatments, while the self-medication group used analgesic medication (single dose), and the heat patch group applied a heat patch on the lower abdomen, against the skin, for an application period of 2 menstrual cycles. Using a visual analog scale (VAS), the pain severity was recorded at the baseline, after 4 hours of intervention, and after 8 hours of intervention. The data were examined using ANOVA.

Results: There were significant differences between the groups in terms of pain severity after 8 hours of application (P < .001). All groups had similar pain levels at baseline and during the fourth and eighth hours, with no significant differences between the groups during the first and the second menstrual cycles (P > .05).

Conclusion: The authors conclude that the heat patch is an effective method for reducing dysmenorrhea.

Keywords: Analgesic; Dysmenorrhea; Heat application; Menstrual cycle; Pain severity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Dysmenorrhea / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Administration
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics