Study of the Acute Effects of Guided Imagery and tDCS on Pain Levels in Women With Chronic Pelvic Pain

  • End date
    Sep 9, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    William Beaumont Hospitals
Updated on 9 June 2022


This is a single blind, randomized, exploratory study of transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) intervention or sham tDCS administered with a standardized guided imagery intervention for chronic pelvic pain. Transcranial Direct Current Sstimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy. Guided Imagery is a form of hypnosis used to create relaxation.Up to 25 adult women with chronic pelvic pain will be enrolled and randomized (like a flip of a coin). Subjects will remain blinded throughout the study. Subjects will be randomized into one of the following four arms: active tDCS with guided imagery, active tDCS alone (without guided imagery), sham tDCS with guided imagery, or sham tDCS alone (without guided imagery).


Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is a common and often debilitating problem among women. CPP is pain that is felt below the belly button and is severe enough to cause feelings of pressure, pain while sitting or standing for long periods of time, pain with intercourse, painful urination, and pain with bowel movements. Transcranial Direct Current Simulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique. As tDCS modulates nerve activity and connectivity, it is also expected to cause measurable changes in brain activity. Guided imagery is a form of hypnosis using words to direct one's thoughts and attention to imagined sensations. Guided imagery has demonstrated efficacy in reducing pain related to many conditions including cancer pain, chronic lower back pain, and post-operative pain. More information is needed to evaluate the effects of tDCS and guided imagery in the treatment of chronic pelvic pain.

The study will consist of one visit. After informed consent is obtained, the following will be collected/completed: health history, demographics, vitals, and questionnaires (BDI, CAGE-AID, PCS, and VAS for pelvic pain). A urinalysis will be collected to assess for infection and a urine pregnancy test for women of child bearing potential. If a subject qualifies they will be randomized. Before treatment, subjects complete an EEG. Treatment will be delivered based on randomization group assignment. After treatment an EEG, VAS, GRA will be collected. Study staff will assess for adverse events during and after treatment.

Condition Pelvic Pain, Chronic Pain
Treatment Active tDCS with guided imagery, Active tDCS alone (no guided imagery), Sham tDCS with guided imagery, Sham tDCS alone (no guided imagery)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04250662
SponsorWilliam Beaumont Hospitals
Last Modified on9 June 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 18 to 64 years
Women must either be unable to become pregnant (surgically sterile or postmenopausal) or must use an approved method of birth control throughout the study period
Self-reported CPP defined as pelvic pain that is not related to menstrual cycle and of at lease 6 months duration and refractory to other treatments
Subject agrees to not start any new treatments (medication or otherwise) throughout the study participation
Subject agrees to maintain stable doses of all current medications throughout study participation

Exclusion Criteria

History of seizures during the last 2 years or diagnosis of epilepsy
Use of carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, pramipexole or cabergoline within the past 6 months as self-reported
Parkinson's Disease
Any condition, including neurological or psychiatric illness, which per investigators' judgment, may increase subject risk
History of Hunner's lesions
Lactation, pregnancy, or refusal to use medically approved/reliable birth control in women of child-bearing potential
Sacral or pudendal Interstim or spinal cord stimulator that is "on
Contraindications to tDCS stimulation (e.g. metal in the head, implanted brain medical devices, scalp wounds or infections, etc.)
History of head injury resulting in more than a momentary loss of consciousness during the last 2 years
Deferral Criteria
If a subject has a confirmed UTI, she will be deferred until treatment is completed and symptoms resolve
Participating in another intervention study, or received an investigational drug or device within 4 weeks prior to screening
Subject received bladder hydrodistention within the past 12 weeks
Within the past 4 weeks, initiation of any new medications or any intravesical treatment for treatment of IC/BPS
Within the past 24 weeks received any surgery or procedure which may impact the pelvic floor
Note: For the sake of preserving scientific integrity, one or more of the eligibility
criteria have been left off the list posted while the trial is ongoing. A full list of
eligibility criteria will be posted upon completion of the trial
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note