Period pains are a natural part of the menstrual cycle: 80% of women experience it during their lifetime.
In the first days of the cycle the pains can be strong enough to compromise normal activities.
Although there are some natural remedies not all women can manage to take a day off from work, school or take a break from their family commitments to spend a day on the sofa with a hot water bag on their belly.
Many women are forced to take drugs to continue their working activities during the first days of menstrual cycle.
Are there any alternatives for busy women?
Period pain, what are we dealing with?
When painful, the menstrual cycle is called dysmenorrhea; in young women the pains are very common and they arise as cramps during the first days of the menstrual cycle: the abdominal pain can also radiate to the back, the pelvic cavity and the thighs.
We need to distinguish the two types of dysmenorrhea:
Primary dysmenorrhea is a medical term to describe period pain when not caused by other diseases, is the most common condition and is due to the production of prostaglandins that stimulate the contraction of the womb.
Sometimes menstrual cramps can be caused by secondary conditions: endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, adenomyosis and cervical fibrosis.
Hence if there are changes in the intensity of the pain of the cycle the cause could be secondary and you should consult your physician to determine the underlying causes of your period pain.
Medications for period pain relief
The medications that are commonly prescribed for menstrual pains are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as ibuprofen and naproxen.
However, it is known that these drugs have relevant side effects on the gastrointestinal tract in fact, the doctor will advise you to always take them on a full stomach. It is good to remember that toxic effects on the cardiovascular system have also been highlighted.
Another drug prescribed by doctors to treat menstrual pain is the combined oral contraceptive pill which, however, it is not tolerated by all women and may increase the risk of venous thrombosis. Common side effects include: headache, spotting, decreased sexual libido, breast tenderness and weight gain.
Due to their side effects, many women prefer to avoid the use of these drugs.
Drug-free remedies for period cramps
a diet rich in vitamin B1, calcium and magnesium and low in fat seems to improve menstrual pain.
Avoid alcohol, refined sugar, particularly spicy foods, packaged sweet snacks, fries and dairy products.
Drink hot liquids, such as herbal teas or broth.
Do not consume foods and beverages containing caffeine during the menstrual period, eliminate or limit coffee, chocolate, tea and cola drinks.
light exercise allows the musculature of the uterus to relax. Yoga, Aerobic exercise and stretching are the best choices during the most painful days.
Here you will find 9 effective exercises for menstrual pain.
some studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in period pain relief.
- Apply heat:
heating pads, patches and even a bottle full of warm water applied to the abdomen can be surprisingly effective remedies for period pains.
- TENS devices:
TENS is the acronym of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, a method of pain relief which involves the use of a mild electrical current.
A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that is connected to sticky pads called electrodes. The electrical impulses can reduce nerve transmission, preventing the pain message from being transmitted to the brain.
What is Livia: a period pain relief device for busy women
Livia is a TENS device that, through a mild electrical stimulation, relieves period pain; its functioning is based on the gate control theory: the neurons that transmit the pain stimuli can be activated or inactivated through a molecular mechanism that acts as a “gate”.
It is designed to be worn comfortably and pinned to clothes through a plier: it is aesthetically appealing, small and compact and looks like a mp3 player or a fitness device. It can be worn while at work, at school and while doing your chores: so it fits a busy woman’s lifestyle.
Livia promises to avoid using pain medication with all their side effects.
Furthermore, it comes in 3 colors and has a variety of covers that make it customizable and matchable with any outfit.
The company has sent me the product so I could try it, watch the video to see it in detail:
I think this is an innovative and sustainable device: a single product can replace the drugs that many of us take on a monthly basis, avoiding the production of a lot of waste.
Furthermore, the same Livia device can be used by more women in the same family.
The mechanism of pain transmission is not the identical for everyone, so on some people Livia could not be able to eradicate the pain: if it has no effect on you, the company offers a 120-day money-back guarantee, in addition to a legal guarantee with a standard duration of 2 years.
How does Livia work?
The operation of Livia is simple:
- place the two electrodes on the abdomen or on the back at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other;
- press the ON button;
- adjust the device according to the intensity of the pain.
It is recommended to change the gel pads after each cycle but they can be used for about 15
applications. At the end of the period it is suggested to cover the gelled sides of the electrodes with their own protections.
Most noteworthy Livia is CE and FDA approved, so its safety has been tested and meets international standards.
Until 10/12 you can purchase Livia with a 15% discount on the price using my code HILARY15.
Soon there will be a post where you’ll see Livia in action!