When you list the worst parts about being a woman, period cramps probably come in the top 10. I mean, it’s bad enough we have to bleed every month in order to make a baby just a few times in our lives, but it has to be excruciatingly painful, too? Oh body, why do you hate me?
For men and the 50 percent of women who don’t get cramps, this unpleasant side effect of menstruation is often a punch line. But women who deal with the pain every month know they’re no joke. At best, they make you tired and cranky, but about 10 percent of women say their period pain is so debilitating that it regularly causes them to miss work.
In the past, dealing with cramps took a mix of painkillers, hot water bottles and voodoo, but now there’s a new gadget on the market that promises to zap your cramps — literally. Named Livia, the device uses painless electrical pulses to confuse your pain receptors. You stick on your skin gel pads that are connected to electrodes that go back to a control box so tiny it could easily fit under your clothing or in a pocket. Once you turn it on, it starts working immediately. No pills, no side effects, no tolerance and, best of all, no pain.
Too good to be true? Although it may sound at first like one of those wacky weight-loss belts that promises to electrocute the fat off your stomach, it is actually based on a scientific principle called gate control theory.
“Livia uses a pain relief method that does not involve drug consumption,” explains professor Bari Kaplan of Women’s Hospital – Beilinson in a press release. “The idea is to close the ‘pain gates.’ The device stimulates the nerves, making it impossible for pain to pass. The method Livia uses has been proven effective in several clinical studies, and I strongly recommend the use of the device to relieve PMS pain at any time.”
And beta testers seem to agree, posting rave reviews about the device with some even saying it’s life changing. But if you want to try one yourself, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Livia is still in the funding stage, but it’s already exceeded its Indiegogo goal and is scheduled to be released in October of this year. It’ll set you back $149, but if you pre-order it, you can get one for just $85. That may sound pricey at first, but what is a lifetime free of menstrual cramps really worth? Priceless.