Every month, many women have the “pleasure” of feeling like their insides are being repeatedly twisted and squeezed like a wet towel being rung out, but because we are all superheroes we carry on with our daily routines as usual. I am of course referring to Aunt Flo’s monthly karate kick to the abdomen that always sends women hobbling to the medicine cabinet. The Livia is a CE-approved medical device aimed to help relieve menstrual pains. It works by using two electrodes that can be placed on the skin near the source of the pain. Most women place them on their abdomen, but II used them on my lower abdomen and lower back (where I experience the worst pains). These two electrodes stick to the skin via adhesive pads attached to one side of the electrodes (don’t worry-- this doesn’t leave any residue) One set of these pads throughout a full menstrual cycle. The electrodes are attached to the Livia unit, which clips to the top of your pants, skirt or panties. The device then transmits electric micro-pulses from the source of the pain to the body’s nervous system. Because these micro-pulses travel faster than the pain signals, they keep the nervous system “occupied” and unable to receive the pain signals. As a result, the pain and discomfort are blocked. It's simple to use: switch it on with the power button (a blue light with indicate it is switched on) and the pulses will start at their lowest setting; you can then increase or decrease the strength with the +/- buttons until the strength of the signals matches the intensity of your menstrual pain.
Pain is difficult to rate but I would say my monthly cramps are moderate, enough for me to pop a couple of Ibuprofen tablets at least once. That being said, I could feel the Livia working within about 30 seconds of turning the Livia on, and I felt a positive effect after about 10 minutes. This is much, faster than my usual pain medication. Livia is small and discrete, which means you can easily wear it without anyone knowing. You can turn the device off and leave the pads on if you decide to take a break until the pain starts to return. The relief from the discomfort, especially at night, was wonderful.
The Livia unit comes with a convenient protective case that can easily fit in a pocket or bag. To personalize your Livia, you can choose from a collection of pastel coloured “skins” that do nothing but further the stereotype that women like horrible colours and accessorising. When my uterus contractions cause me discomfort, I personally don’t give a stuff if my pain relief is dressed in a Lavender Flower or Sky-Blue Pillow design.
More important, I was impressed by how effective the Livia was as I have never considered this type of pain relief before. Do I think it is worth £143)? That depends on how severe your menstrual pain is. There are cheaper products that claim to alleviate menstrual pain, but Livia is the only device designed specifically for menstrual pain that has CE approval. The Livia is well made, easy to use, and who knows, maybe that personalisation option will just win you over. RRP £143
4 out of 5
Fast pain relief for acute pain
Easy to use
You can carry out your normal activities whilst using it
Protective travel case
Rechargeable battery via USB
Transparent gel protectors are difficult to find again when put down