I suffer from unbearable period pains - but I've finally found a product that alleviates them

Yes, it is completely medicine free.

Myoovi review: Sofia wearing the myoovi device in the office for period pain relief
(Image credit: Sofia Piza)

For as long as I can remember, getting my period became synonymous with excruciating pain - the type of pain that leaves you bedridden for at least two days. That's where this Myoovi review comes in, as I've been testing the TENS device for three months after a colleague raved about how it's all but banished her debilitating period pains.

While I didn't get particularly heavy periods, I have been through the lot when it comes to methods that promise to help. After two unsuccessful attempts at the combined pill, a lot of yoga for period pain and even more medicine later, I decided it was time to try a new tactic.

Enter stage right, the Myoovi machine, a small yet powerful device designed to distract the brain from the pain your body is experiencing. Sure, it sounds a little out there, but I was keen to try it for myself. 

As a typically sceptical person, I decided that the only way I could test this product was by putting it through the wringer for three menstrual cycles. I also tested in different locations, and just when I thought I couldn’t learn more about this device,  I lent it to a friend who was going through a coeliac cross-contamination reaction. 

Keep scrolling to read more about my Myoovi experience, how TENS machines work, and how I got on for the three months I tested.

Myoovi review: "By month three, I couldn't imagine my period without it"

How does Myoovi work?

Good question. Well, it comes shaped like a butterfly and is designed to be charged and then applied to your lower stomach. It has a small gel pad which uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to transmit small pulses on the abdomen or back. 

“TENS technology works by sending pulses to the area in which you place the device, explains Dr. Adam Hamdi, Founder of Myoovi. "These pulses block your pain receptors from receiving pain signals in the area and effectively act by distracting your brain from noticing the pain is there."

Dr. Hamdi came up with the idea for Myoovi while working for the NHS - he says he encountered countless patients that wanted to avoid taking pain medication for period cramps so, as a solution, he recommended TENS technology. He reflects that he often got mixed responses from his patients. “Most were reluctant to use one given they were typically bulky and full of wires,” he explains. “That inspired me to not only produce a device that is effective and discreet - in other words, provides relief and can easily be used on the go, but also in the process launch a holistic menstrual health brand that aims to provide science-backed products.”

How do I put Myoovi on?

First things first - unboxing the device when it landed on my desk. It comes in a neat box with interchangeable adhesive pads, a charger, an instruction booklet, a carrier pouch, and a clean plastic file for the device to stick on whilst it’s not in use. 

I found putting it on very simple - I simply peeled the plastic file and placed it on my abdomen when I needed distraction from the pain. Do note here: my colleague had warned me to be sure to avoid turning the device on until it is fully stuck to the skin and don't turn it on before sticking to your stomach. She warned that failing to do so can lead to a slight shock to the fingers or hands, which as I learnt, can be a little painful.

As for the settings, there is a range so you can decide on the intensity. I started off with the low-to-middle pulse setting, designed for beginners. This eases you in as if you’re not familiar with TENS technology, it can take a couple of minutes to get used to. Keeping it on a lower setting helped to ease my body into it, and once I was more accustomed to the sensation, I could turn the intensity up.

Myoovi review: Sofia using myoovi device in the office for period pain relief

Sofia using the Myoovi device in the office.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

My Myoovi review

Month one, and I got my period mid-week, meaning I really got to test where and when you can use the device. The website states that it's suitable for use anywhere, and after testing, I can confirm this is true - that first period, I used the Myoovi at home, in the office, and out and about. 

With my cramps beginning, I avoided my routine paracetamol and instead, popped into the office bathroom to place it on my lower abdomen and turn it on.

I was a little apprehensive to leave the bathroom wearing the device, fearing that it would be too noticeable or distracting. However, I settled into it pretty quickly and completely forgot about I was even wearing it - a good sign.

When sitting down, I noticed it a little more, especially when wearing tight jeans. That said, all it needed was a little adjustment (just be careful to avoid an energy zap when doing so). All in all, the device was discreet enough to get me through my work day pain-free - an absolute win.

For my second month of testing the device, my period came during the weekend which was perfect as I was able to test wearing it more outdoors. I absolutely loved it, using it on walks, hanging out with friends, and running errands. I did, however, make sure to not use it whilst working out or sleeping. as advised.

By month three, I couldn't imagine getting through my period without it. My body felt at ease when using the device. While it took me a little bit of time to get accustomed to the pulsations as a first-time TENS user, once I got used to the feeling, I was able to enjoy period cramp relief within the first ten minutes of turning it on. 

Have I completely gotten rid of my paracetamol? No, but, I have heavily reduced the amount of medicine I take during my period, which is a huge plus. There's nothing wrong with taking painkillers every now and then, but relying on them every month like clockwork wasn't ideal.

What amazed me the most was that the TENS machine made me forget my lighter cramps were even happening. For the more intense cramping, I could still feel a slight pain, but it was noticeably less painful. 

Technology aside, another thing I noticed with Myoovi was how impressive the device’s battery life was. In the past three months, I've charged it two times and used it for prolonged periods of time. This is great news for those of us who'll want to use the product for long periods of time or have irregular periods that make it uneasy to have a fully charged device waiting at all times. 

Will Myoovi work for you?

Good question. Dr. Poobashni Govender, Medical Director at Rainbow Labs, warns that it's a case-by-case situation as most women will experience different monthly cycles and pain levels. 

"Many women have reported that TENS machines have helped with their cramps, but the degree of effectiveness varies considerably between individuals," Dr. Govender continues. "According to recent research, the use of TENS for dysmenorrhea (pain associated with menstruation) helps to reduce the amount and frequency of pain relief required. "

Myoovi review: Sofia testing the product

How the Myoovi device looked when it arrived

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can I use it beyond my menstrual cramps?

Now this is where it gets interesting. Naturally, I was intrigued - if TENS machines are effective at distracting me from period pain, can they distract from other pain, too?

I put it to the test one day when out for lunch with a friend who is a coeliac and highly allergic to dairy. After a meal out, she found herself in agony after getting cross contaminated. The symptoms she encounters with her reactions are mostly in her mid to lower stomach. 

Her usual go-to is a traditional heated water bottle. However, during this instance, I lent my Myoovi device to her to see if it would help. After a couple of minutes, she noticed a decrease in abdominal pain. The swelling in her stomach remained, but the discomfort had definitely decreased. 

However, it is important to note that as much as TENS can help some, it is not a long-term solution. "TENS  may provide temporary relief for some. However, it is not widely considered as an effective pain management tool for the likes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis," says Dr. Govender. "These conditions require a comprehensive treatment plan with the help of a Gastroenterologist, specifically as some medications may make these conditions worse."

Sofia Piza

Sofia Piza is the Producer and Writer at Marie Claire UK. 

Born in Mexico and raised in five countries, Sofia finally decided to settle down in London after three years at London College of Fashion, studying Fashion Journalism. With over two years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, you can now find Sofia organising shoots and scouring the internet for the latest fashion, beauty, and wellness trends. When she's not sourcing inspiration from social media, you will most certainly find Sofia anywhere from a local vintage market to busy central London streets people watching - the possibilities are endless.