I tried the new period pain machine everyone’s talking about: can this cute device really switch off cramps?

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  • A natural remedy that'll rid you of that dull ache for good? We put it to the test.

    Ah, 2021. What a time to be alive.

    Sure, there’s the small matter of the global pandemic meaning that the whole of the UK is currently in a nationwide lockdown, but there are plenty of things to be positive about. Like?

    New fem-tech machines promising to rid you of menstrual cramps for good. Yep, you read that right – there’s a new device from brand LIVIA on the market calling itself the ‘first scientifically proven switch off from menstrual pain’. It promises to instantly treat period cramps and offer natural, drug-free PMS relief. It almost sounds too good to be true… so is it?

    We tried the device for you to find out, before you invest. Hold tight for an honest review. 

    Livia period pain machine review: does it actually work? 

    I don’t normally suffer from period cramps, but when I do, boy are they bad. They often knock me for six as I’m simply not expecting them, so when I saw an email from Livia’s PR team land in my inbox, I was instantly intrigued.

    Not a fan of popping painkillers to ease the dull ache in your stomach? Me neither. So reading that LIVIA’s devices are FDA-approved and a more natural way to stop cramps really caught my attention.

    Time to give it a try.

    How does the Livia period pain machine work? 

    The LIVIA team explains on their website that the machine works to zap cramps by stimulating your other nerves in the same area. FYI, you’ll experience a small shock – more on that below – which is a pulse working to keep your surrounding nerves pre-occupied. If they’re busy, they blocking the pain signals on their way to your brain. Clever, huh.

    I’d liken it to pricking your finger on a needle – you notice it the first time, but soon forget it’s happening altogether.

    Livia period pain review

    Is the Livia period pain machine easy to set up? 

    Sure, I was a little apprehensive that a huge package would come with loads to set up – I’m useless with wires – but in reality, it’s a cute little satsuma-sized box in a pretty pastel colour with a wire coming out of the top. Said wire has two gel patches for you to attach onto your lower stomach area, aka where you’re feeling pain.

    FYI, it’s as simple as turning the machine on and deciding how high you’d like the pulses to go, and you’re off.

    Does the Livia period pain machine work? 

    It’s a funny feeling – you almost don’t think anything’s happening, and then ten minutes later you clock that the more intense pain in your lower abdomen has gone. While I can’t say the machine totally got rid of the underlying ache you get from period cramps, it did banish the more obvious, intense throbs of pain.

    Whether that dull ache I still thought I felt was psychological or real, I don’t know. What I do know is that it seemed to rid me of the majority of the discomfort I’d been in.

    I got my sister to try it, too. She found it less effective, noting that while some of her pain subsided, she still experienced some. She prefers the comfort and pain-relief of a trusty old hot water bottle.

    Pros:

    • It’s portable
    • It’s tiny – about the size of an orange
    • It’s simple to use and easy to set up
    • It’s subtle
    • It comes in minimal packaging

    Cons: 

    • It’s expensive at around £199
    • It’s not guaranteed to work for everyone
    • It can feel a little daunting connecting wires to your tummy

    Should I try the Livia period pain machine? 

    Clearly the device works differently on all bodies, so ultimately, it’s up to you.

    On the website, Livia medical advisor and ob-gyn professor Bari Kaplan explains the results of three studies carried out. The aim was to establish how effective the device was at reducing pain. The results were mixed: 57% of participants reported complete period pain relief, with 30% experiencing moderate relief and 13% experiencing no relief at all.

    I’d say if you experience intense debilitating period pains all the time and can afford the investment, it’s worth a shot. No, the device isn’t cheap, currently retailing at £199 (you can get it on some sites for £125). But if period pains do really impact your day-to-day during your TOTM, it could be a good investment.

    AUVON Dual Channel TENS Machine for Pain Relief
    Price: £29.99
    The rechargeable and powerful TENS machines can stimulate the muscles and sensory nerves, activate specific natural pain gate mechanism, relax your body and have pain management anytime you feel the need. Neat..

    View Deal

    LIVIA period pain machine
    Price: £124.99
    Experience what the brand promises to be ‘immediate, drug-free pain relief from menstrual cramps.’ It also promises to be discreet, comfortable, and ideal as a long term solution for painful periods.

    View Deal

    Although, do note here, some physicians have been quick to point out that the LIVIA device isn’t really the first of its kind – Dr Jennifer Gunter shared on her website that they’ve been prescribing TENS units for intense period pain for over a decade, which retail at around $30 on Amazon.

    Bottom line: the LIVIA period pain did work for me, and could for you, too, but is different for everyone. Do your research, work out what could work best for you, and give it a go if you think it’ll improve your overall quality of life.

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