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Contraception. 2014 Mar;89(3):229-33. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2013.11.018. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Comparison of interventions for pain control with tenaculum placement: a randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO, USA. Electronic address:
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Portland, OR, USA.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



Although previous studies have demonstrated that a variety of local anesthetics are effective to decrease pain associated with tenaculum placement, no studies directly compare an injection with a topical anesthetic. The objective of this study was therefore to compare mean pain scores with tenaculum placement after an intracervical lidocaine injection or topical lidocaine gel.


A randomized, single-blinded trial of women presenting for office gynecologic procedures that required a tenaculum. Women aged 18 years or older were randomized to receive either a 1% lidocaine intracervical injection or topical application of 2% lidocaine gel to the cervix immediately prior to tenaculum placement. The primary outcome was pain at the time of tenaculum placement, measured on a 100 mm Visual Analog Scale. Secondary outcomes included pain with the intervention and satisfaction with tenaculum placement.


Seventy-four women were enrolled and randomized; 35 subjects in each group met criteria for analysis. The two groups had similar socio-demographic characteristics. Women who received the injection had lower mean pain levels at tenaculum placement [12.3 mm (S.D. 17.4 mm) versus 36.6 mm (S.D. 23.0 mm), p<.001] but higher mean pain levels with study drug application [20.4 mm (S.D. 19.4 mm) versus 5.9 mm (S.D. 8.6 mm), p<.001]. Satisfaction with tenaculum placement was similar for the two groups.


Mean pain with tenaculum placement is lower after receiving a lidocaine injection than after receiving a topical lidocaine gel. Satisfaction with tenaculum placement is similar with both interventions.


Analgesia; Cervix; Gel; Injection; Lidocaine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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