I clearly cannot speak from personal experience, but I know with absolute clarity from family members and friends that menstrual pain can be excruciating. Not all women and girls have the same experience and it’s not always consistent, but one thing is for certain, period pain is never something to which people look forward.
Livia opened an Indiegogo campaign for its eponymous product that claims to relieve menstrual pain with no side effects at 9 AM ET March 6 and as I’m writing this 29 hours later, it has already reached 65% of its $50,000 goal, with 2 months left in the campaign. No question that the demand is there.
Livia’s slogan is “The Off Switch for Menstrual Pain.” Similar to the way TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) works, Livia “closes the ‘pain gates’ by stimulating the nerves and blocking the pain from passing to the brain.” The device itself is about the size of a small bar of soap. You clip it to your waistband or belt and place the two wired electrodes with gel stickers to the appropriate spots on your abdomen where you feel the greatest pain.
The control unit has an on-off switch with + and – indicators to increase or decrease intensity. You can get different color cases for the control unit, which has a rechargeable battery and comes with a USB charging cable. I know from experience with TENS units I used for pain after shoulder surgery that the gel stickers need replacement after a week or so unless you tape them in place, so most likely there will be a source and a way to purchase replacement stickers.
The advantages of using minor electrical stimulus to block pain are that you take no drugs, there are no side effects, and you don’t build a tolerance. It might take a few trials to determine the stimulation level that’s right for you, and of course that can vary with your pain level.
Typical TENS units use replaceable batteries, they’re quite a bit larger than the Livia unit, and frankly they’re not as nice looking; they look like some kind of battery test unit you might have purchased at Radio Shack in the 80s. Not Livia: it’s actually pretty cute, and the chance for color coordination, well, there is that. Livia’s size and design look like it could be a real help to women with severe menstrual pain.