There are more supposed cures for period pains than there are days in the year. Hot water bottles, ice packs, exercise, chocolate, sex... you name it, we've tried it. And just when we were about to bunker down in a chocolate-laden hole, a new ray of hope comes to light in the form of a wearable tech.
Introducing - the little device that claims to "switch off" period pain. Essentially, Livia is a TENS device, which uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to send gentle electrical current through the skin to block the nerve pathways with the aim to stop pain in its tracks.
TENS devices aren't anything new. In fact, they've been used by pregnant women for pain relief when giving birth for years. Unfortunately, there isn't enough evidence to say whether or not TENS machines provide quantifiable or reliable pain relief so it's very much down to the individual's experience, with some users reporting huge benefits and others left reaching for the ibuprofen. However, the technique is generally extremely safe to try and doesn't involve any medication, so is often chosen as a first course of action.
I tried period pants and this is what happened
Livia claims to take TENS to the next level, perfectly matching the frequency and length of their electrical pulses to specifically block the type of pain associated with menstrual cramps. Each kit comes with a colourful device, two stickers (the electrodes) and a handy case to store everything in.
All you need to do is place the two stickers where you're experiencing the cramps, and turn the machine on. You can adjust the strength of the electrical pulses with plus and minus buttons and the device can be worn for 10 hours at a time.
At £120 for the starter kit, it's not exactly the cheapest solution for period pains, especially given that some women don't even experience much - if any - relief from TENS machines, but the company offers a 120 day money-back guarantee for those cases.
Would you give it a go? Or are you sticking to chocolate and hot water bottles?