An observational cohort study of pelvic floor photobiomodulation for treatment of chronic pelvic pain

J Comp Eff Res. 2021 Dec;10(17):1291-1299. doi: 10.2217/cer-2021-0187. Epub 2021 Sep 7.


Aim: This research is the first to evaluate the effectiveness of trans-vaginal photobiomodulation therapy (TV-PBMT) for chronic pelvic pain. Materials & methods: Observational analysis of 128 women, undergoing TV-PBMT for chronic pelvic pain. Minimal clinically important difference, defined as ≥2-point drop on a 0-10 numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), and effect size Cohen d coefficient, was calculated over nine treatments for overall pain, and pain with activities. Results: Compared with baseline, 64.5% of women showed improvement in overall pain, pain with bowel movement, intercourse, exercise, urination, sitting and vulvar pain (minimal clinically important difference = -2.4, -2.0, -2.4, -2.1, -2.1, -2.0, -3.1; d = 0.9, 0.7, 0.9, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.9) by treatment 9. Conclusion: In this cohort, TV-PBMT resulted in improvement of pelvic pain without serious adverse events.

Keywords: chronic pelvic pain; low-level laser therapy; photobiomodulation.

Plain language summary

Lay abstract Low-level laser is a therapy that can help pain, but this type of treatment has not been available to women with chronic pelvic pain because traditional laser devices cannot access the pelvic structures. In this research we studied a novel low-laser device that can be used in the vagina, to treat pain arising from pelvic organs and muscles. Our preliminary research shows that this approach significantly reduced pelvic pain, and pain with activities such as exercise, urination, bowel movements and intercourse, in two-thirds of women who completed the therapy.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain* / therapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Floor*
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy