Electrical Epidural Stimulation Test (EST) for Labor Pain

Recruiting · 18+ · Female · Palo Alto, CA

This study is evaluating whether epidural catheters can be placed through the epidural stimulation test.

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About the trial for Labor Pain

Eligible Conditions
Labor Pain · Anesthesia, Local · Pain, Obstetric

Treatment Groups

This trial involves 2 different treatments. Electrical Epidural Stimulation Test (EST) is the primary treatment being studied. Participants will all receive the same treatment. There is no placebo group. The treatments being tested are not being studied for commercial purposes.

Main TreatmentA portion of participants receive this new treatment to see if it outperforms the control.
Electrical Epidural Stimulation Test (EST)
Control TreatmentAnother portion of participants receive the standard treatment to act as a baseline.


This trial is for female patients aged 18 and older. There are 3 eligibility criteria to participate in this trial as listed below.

Inclusion & Exclusion Checklist
Mark “yes” if the following statements are true for you:
Full-term pregnancy with request for epidural early in labour (i.e. Regular labor or C-Section)
Females, 18 years and older
American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I or II
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Odds of Eligibility
Be sure to apply to 2-3 other trials, as you have a low likelihood of qualifying for this one.Apply To This Trial
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Approximate Timelines

Please note that timelines for treatment and screening will vary by patient
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: varies
Reporting: Duration of EST test (approximately 1-2 hours)
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: Varies
Reporting: Duration of EST test (approximately 1-2 hours)
This trial has approximate timelines as follows: 3 weeks for initial screening, variable treatment timelines, and reporting: Duration of EST test (approximately 1-2 hours).
View detailed reporting requirements
Trial Expert
Connect with the researchersHop on a 15 minute call & ask questions about:
- What options you have available- The pros & cons of this trial
- Whether you're likely to qualify- What the enrollment process looks like

Measurement Requirements

This trial is evaluating whether Electrical Epidural Stimulation Test (EST) will improve 1 primary outcome and 1 secondary outcome in patients with Labor Pain. Measurement will happen over the course of Approximately 3 hours following introduction of anesthetics through the catheter..

Pain Scores
Patients will be asked for a pain score by research staff approximately 3 hours following placement of the epidural catheter and low-dose anesthetics are introduced. The pain scores will be on a scale from 0-10 with 0 representing no pain and 10 representing maximum pain.
Electrical Epidural Stimulation Test
Investigate the ability of the electrical epidural stimulation test (EST) to determine the position of the epidural catheter anesthesia for labour analgesia after low-dose anesthetic as compared to the gold standard of clinical assessment.

Who is running the study

Principal Investigator
C. B. T.
Prof. Chi-Ho Ban Tsui, Professor-Med Ctr Line
Stanford University

Patient Q & A Section

Please Note: These questions and answers are submitted by anonymous patients, and have not been verified by our internal team.

What are common treatments for labor pain?

Some common treatments for labor pain in nulliparous women have been reviewed, and are as follows (Table 2): The most common pharmacologic agents for labor pain in nulliparous women are opioids such as oxytocin (41%), methyldopa (40%), alpine acetate (26%), and fentanyl. A pessary has been known to have been used for centuries, but is rarely used now. The most common nonpharmacologic solutions for labor pain in nulliparous women are rest and relaxation techniques (41%), massage (8%), cold packs (8%), and warm hot packs (3%). Many women report experiencing improvement or complete relief when using these techniques.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What are the signs of labor pain?

The signs of labor pain can range from pelvic discomfort to more severe symptoms of pain, such as loss of bladder control and inability to urinate. As labor pain persists, the likelihood increases that a mother may be in a pre-labour emergency.\n

Anonymous Patient Answer

What causes labor pain?

The most common cause is a blockage in the cervix, in which the fetal parts can no longer be squeezed out. Other causes include a ruptured placenta, or a breach in the uterine cavity. Most labors need only be managed with the use of mild to moderate pain relievers and NSAIDs.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Can labor pain be cured?

Labor pain cannot be cured. It is best to wait for this pain to subside and then start pushing again when it is safe to do so.

Anonymous Patient Answer

How many people get labor pain a year in the United States?

In a recent study, findings suggests that the majority of pregnant women in their third trimester experience labor pain, but that it is also common for some women to be unaware of this symptom. Efforts to increase awareness of labor pain, especially among women who are not aware that they are experiencing it, should be considered in order to optimize the care of pregnant women.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What is labor pain?

It is possible to make the following assumptions about labor pain: 1) some people experience pain, especially aching pain, in the first and second stages of labor. 2) women perceive more pain during the first stage of labor than during the second or third and more painful stage of childbirth (in which they have oxytocin deficiency). 3) women with premature birth are usually pain free in the first stage of labor, but have more severe pain during the second and third stages. 4) women who have epidurals are pain free earlier in labor during the first stage and less painful during the second and third stages of labor. The pain-free stage is usually short.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What is the primary cause of labor pain?

The vast majority of women with labor pain had a ruptured disk of the lumbar spine (75%), leading us to question the need for MRI in every pregnant patient.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Have there been other clinical trials involving electrical epidural stimulation test (est)?

[I]t seems that the ES is helpful for the lumbar epidural steroid injection for labor pain and [II]f there is more effective treatments for it, the ES will be reconsidered as one of the treatments for labor pain.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Has electrical epidural stimulation test (est) proven to be more effective than a placebo?

Results from a recent paper has demonstrated that EES in the form of est is an efficacious analgesic intervention for the treatment of post-labor pain.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Does labor pain run in families?

Data from a recent study of our study suggest that labor pain and labor dystocia share familial determinants that may provide a potential target of prenatal treatment. However, they provide no clear evidence for or against the use of nongenetic maternal risk factors as a target for prenatal prevention of labor pain and labor dystocia.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What are the latest developments in electrical epidural stimulation test (est) for therapeutic use?

Est is safe in patients with myofascial pain syndromes, including patients with myofascial pain syndrome secondary to myositis (subacromial muscle pain associated with strenual activity of the shoulder), and is associated with significant pain relief and improved functional status in patients. A prospective randomised (blinded) controlled trial of est comparing with sham electrical stimulation, or a single session of high-energy shock wave therapy, is now required to further validate the results of this study.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What is the latest research for labor pain?

The research on the causes [of labour pain] is still rather [limited] but we are beginning to understand how genes and the [nervous system] work together to cause pain during childbirth. There is still a lot more work to be done before it will be possible to provide the safest, most loving labour that every woman wants. However, you can learn more about how your body makes [pain] by going to [WebMD] (

Anonymous Patient Answer
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