Livia Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Mar 27, 2020

Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S

Millions of women combat the monthly pain of menstrual cramps by taking over the counter medications, but many wonder if there’s a better way to manage their symptoms.

Livia claims to be a drug-free, hormone-free solution to period pain. This subtle device should be worn against your skin, and by pushing a button, you can make it stimulate your nerves to block pain.

The company claims that using Livia is safe for all users and capable of providing immediate relief.

Can using Livia really help you feel like yourself again amid period pain? In this analysis, we’ll investigate whether Livia will work as described and whether it’s worth the investment.

Pros
  • The discrete device can be worn without detection
  • 14-hour charge should last all day
  • Begins relieving pain within 30 seconds
  • 90% of users in clinical trials experienced some level of pain relief
Cons
  • Clinical studies involved small sample sizes
  • Doesn’t work for all participants
  • Might not work for plus-sized users

How Does Livia Work?

Livia’s underlying technology is based on what’s known as the Gate Control Theory. Doctor Anthony Dugarte, HighYa’s medical content writer, tells us that this theory was first developed in the 60s by Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall.

The theory’s premise is that pain sensations associated with injuries are transmitted to the brain from the peripheral nerves through the spinal cord. Along the way, the pain signal encounters “gates” it must go through to continue passing on the message. If these gates are closed, your brain can’t sense the pain.

“The interplay between the central and peripheral nervous systems is complex and not completely understood, says Dugarte. “Nonetheless, it seems as though a number of factors can affect whether the nerve gates are open or closed.”

Products like Livia work to close these gates by stimulating your nerves so that you don’t feel pain in real-time. This device uses the company’s patented “SmartWave” technology to send out electric micro-pulses to prevent you from feeling menstrual pain.

Once you start using the device, you should experience some level of pain relief within a minute.

Livia utilizes similar mechanisms of action to TENS units (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), as both provide pain relief through stimulatory impulses.

They will differ in their pulse frequency and the specific waveforms they send out. The company claims that Livia is the only TENS-style product optimized explicitly for period pain.

Clinical Studies

Livia has undergone three clinical trials since its creation in 2016. Below is a summary of the results from these studies:

  • Study 1: 61 women were assessed for menstrual pain over four cycles. 90% experienced pain relief when using a Livia prototype, 31% reported complete relief, and 32% found that it delivered relief faster than drugs.

  • Study 2: 102 women monitored their menstrual pain for four cycles, using an improved prototype. 86% reported pain relief, 57% experienced complete pain relief, and 72.5% stated it worked faster than drugs.

  • Study 3: 65 women monitored period pain for two cycles. Half used a Livia prototype, and half used a sham device that created tingling sensations for the first cycle, and then both groups switched. The study found a statistically significant difference between the prototype and sham device, and participants reported general improvements in their quality of life after using it.

Though these findings seem promising for Livia’s effectiveness, it’s essential to keep them in context.

“While the independent testing does add some merit to their claims, they have yet to be published,” Dugarte shares. “This means they have not gone through a rigorous peer-review process to determine if their methods were sound.”

Likewise, the sample sizes are small and might not be indicative of the general population’s response to the device. Saying that, it seems that Livia and similar products do show promise for managing period pain for some users.

Side Effects

Livia works externally, which means that it doesn’t have any impact on your menstrual cycle, hormone balance, or other functions.

Likewise, there are no known side effects associated with using the device as described. The one exception is if you have a heart pacemaker, as the device’s electrical impulses may interfere with it. Don’t use Livia if you have one.

How to Use Livia

Livia comes as a small colored device (about the size of an MP3 player) with two connected electrode pads that come pre-coated with gel.

You are meant to stick onto your skin at the site of the pain, usually your lower stomach or back. Secure the device in your pocket or by clipping It to your pants and turn it on.

It’s designed to be inconspicuous to wear throughout daily life or even while exercising – though keep it from getting wet.

The device can be recharged through a micro USB cable, and a single charge should last up to 14 hours.

A small LED indicator above the power button shows you what level the device is set on and how to adjust it from high to low intensity. There are 16 settings total, and tapping the button four times will increase it by one.

Pricing and Refund Information

It’s possible to purchase Livia off the company website in two different packages.

One-Time Purchase Subscription
Cost $149 $8/month. (The first month is free, $39 signup fee)
Warranty 2 years Lifetime
Gel Pods 3-month supply Lifetime supply (request more when needed)
Shipping Free across the US Free worldwide
Bonus Features NA Receive new Livia every three years

You can also purchase a six-month supply of gel pods from the company website for $29.

With the subscription plan, you will have paid the cost of purchasing Livia outright after about 15 months. Note that you must sign up for a minimum of four months. You can return your Livia and cancel your subscription at any time after.

It’s also possible to purchase Livia “skins” to change the color and texture of your device. Each costs $12.

All one-time Livia purchases come with a 120-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with your purchase, message the company to initiate a refund. The device must be in good physical condition, and you are responsible for all taxes and return shipping costs.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

There are more than 90 reviews for Livia here on HighYa, averaging 3.2 stars. Here’s are the most common trends:

Compliments:

  • Easy to take out in public when necessary
  • Reduces period pain as well as painkillers or a heating pad
  • Period relief without side effects

Complaints:

  • Slow refund process or refund not honored
  • Didn’t relieve period pain as promised
  • Might not be big enough for plus-sized users

Popular Alternatives to Livia

There are several options for those looking for medication-free period relief besides Livia. Two options you might consider include the LILAS pain relief patch and the Careboo device.

Livia Careboo LILAS Pain Relief Patch
Cost $149 or $39 plus $8/month $89.99 $17.95 for ten
Mechanism of Action Sends out electrical impulses to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Will last 14 hours between charges. Sends out electrical impulses to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Will last five hours between charges. Each single-use patch offers sustained period pain and cramp relief for up to twelve hours. Contains menthol, a blend of essential oils, and other natural ingredients.
Average Reviews (Amazon) 3.4 (82 reviews) 3.7 (4 reviews) 4.2 (43 reviews)

Both Livia and Careboo operate similarly by tapping into neural impulse blocking through the Gate Control Theory. Both act as TENS devices to prevent pain sensations from reaching your brain.

The Careboo device costs close to half of what you’ll pay for Livia, though the battery only lasts a third as long. This may be a problem for some users, as it means that you can only wear the Careboo for a few hours each day.

Another potential concern is the lack of reviews for Careboo, which makes it harder to know if you’re making a smart purchase. Likewise, Careboo doesn’t offer a lifetime subscription option like Livia, which may be a deciding factor for some people.

The LILAS pain relief patch operates differently. Rather than working through electrical impulses, it provides a solution of menthol and essential oils for natural pain reliefs.

Topical menthol is a common pain-relief strategy that one study found more effective than ice for alleviating muscle pain.

These patches are single-use, but they are more discrete than Livia and Careboo, and you won’t have to worry about charging them. Assuming that the average woman uses five per cycle, they will cost $9 per period, which is $1 more per month than a Livia subscription.

The Bottom Line: Is Livia Worth It?

Livia claims to offer women with painful periods a drug-free way to get their lives back with minimal inconvenience for their daily lives. The existing clinical trials are small, but they indicate this electrical stimulus device could be effective for many people.

“I do like that Livia is non-invasive, drug-free, and FDA approved,” says Dugarte. “Independent clinical testing shared by Livia demonstrated safety and efficacy when this product is used as directed.”

However, it’s important to acknowledge that there are multiple causes of menstrual pain, and a device like Livia merely works to cover up the symptoms rather than addressing the problem.

Dugarte is concerned that using the device might cause you to delay seeking medical treatment for your pain that could potentially lead to the diagnosis of a serious health issue.

If you deal with chronic, debilitating menstrual pain, it’s best to talk with your doctor about your symptoms. They might suggest you use a device like Livia to make the pain more manageable, but it’s crucial to rule out other health problems first.


Read 91 Livia Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 3.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 47 4 star: 3 3 star: 2 2 star: 1 1 star:  38
Bottom Line: 57% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 91
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  • MyLivia is SCAMMING women

    • By Evalynn C.,
    • Knoxville, TN,
    • Feb 23, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    MyLivia is preying on women trying to find a solution. I purchased this product about 7 months ago and returned it within the first month of purchase. It did not work for me. Then, after paying for tracked shipping, I returned the product and was informed I would receive my refund within 30 days. It has been 7 months and the company has ghosted me several times. DO NOT BUY! They do not honor their 120-day money-back guarantee. Don't trust a company that can't keep its promises.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Refund not honored - SCAM

    • By Clio F.,
    • Manson's Landing, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Dec 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased the Livia machine directly from their website and it has now been 9 months since I sent the Livia machine for refund following their exact return instructions, STILL NO REFUND.

    Despite my many attempts to get my money back "risk-free" as they boast on their website, I am still waiting.

    I have emailed, used Facebook Messenger, and called a number of times in the past 9 months and never have received a refund.

    I have managed to speak to a representative using 1-718-715-4647, although all they say is that they are working on my case. Now the phone number goes to an answering service that instructs the caller to dial a number to be connected (always a different number, every time I call) and after pressing the said number it simply hangs up.

    If this isn't the definition of a SCAM, I don't know what is. DO NOT BUY LIVIA. IT DOESN'T WORK. YOU WILL NEVER GET YOUR MONEY BACK.

    I have emailed:

    Support support@mylivia.com via zendesk.com

    Wed, Oct 23, 12:23 PM

    Your request (55629) has been received and is being reviewed by our support staff.

    _______________________________

    Valeria (Support) support@mylivia.com Oct 23, 22:31 IDT

    Dear Clio,

    I want to assure you that you have been added to the refund list.

    Your request regarding your refund has been already sent to my colleague from the Financial Department, so I am sure your issue will be fixed asap.

    Used Facebook Messenger:

    Hello Clio! My name is Valeria and I am a customer support representative at MyLivia project.

    Let me please return to your case.

    We have received your package in the warehouse and you were added to the refund list.

    Please note that I've forwarded your request to the Financial Department again and reminded them about the necessity to process a refund for you.

    Once I have any update from them, I'll contact you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • GOT NO MONEY BACK

    • By Antonia S.,
    • Vienna, Austria,
    • Dec 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered MyLivia in December 2018 and got it in February 2019. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me (and that's ok, they do not promise that it will work for everyone), but what they DO PROMISE is that you can get your money back when you send them the item back. I did send it back within the 120 days where they promise the 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. I wrote them on a weekly basis and still got NO MONEY BACK. I am really annoyed! So don't make the same mistake and order this item! It is the worst and most dubious company I've ever been in contact with!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • SCAM. DO NOT BUY.

    • By Brayden K.,
    • Big Rapids, MI,
    • Dec 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I did not want to write this review, but the team at MyLivia did not leave me much of an alternative. I had purchased MyLivia with the expectation that I could return the product for a full refund if it was not of satisfactory quality. I was wrong. MyLivia did little more for my girlfriend than provide her with a weird tingly feeling. It did not reduce the pain she felt. I then tried to return the faulty product for a refund but failed. I emailed MyLivia every week for a month after my refund was due, yet I did not receive the funds. I was only told that it would take a little longer every time I emailed. I will gladly remove this review if this problem can be fixed, however, I am not holding my breath.

    TL;DR: MyLivia is ineffective and comes with a fake money-back guarantee.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • AVOID, SCAM!

    • By Leah S.,
    • New York,
    • Dec 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not only did the product not work for me, the company has been TERRIBLE about honoring their own refund policy. I have sent back the item and MONTHS and MONTHS later no refund. AVOID at all costs. I'm out $160 and have nothing to show for it. Very bad way to do business. Shame on Livia.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • FRAUD - they took my money and so many others

    • By Soraya B.,
    • Huntington, WV,
    • Sep 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Pray it works for you because if it doesn’t, you can count on Livia to take your money, NOT honor their money-back guarantee, and give you the runaround for MONTHS on your refund that was supposed to have been put through 10 calls ago. Fraud. I can’t even believe the audacity of them to do this to so many people and simply delete comments on Facebook as if the issue doesn’t exist.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Canceled right away, didn’t receive...still no refund

    • By Emily M.,
    • United Kingdom,
    • Sep 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After over "30 business days," as they say on their website, I still have no refund. As soon as I’d bought it I canceled it due to health reasons and not wanting to antagonise it.

    They said it was being forwarded to the "financial department." I never even received the product as I canceled it right away.

    Still waiting on a refund...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • No refund after returning Livia 6 months ago

    • By Bridie S.,
    • Devon, United Kingdom,
    • Aug 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Livia customer service confirmed that they have received my return nearly 6 months ago, but they have yet to issue my refund. I email them monthly and I am told I am in a queue. If there is a 6-month queue for all the returns then I guess that reflects how many people return their Livia, which doesn't work...need I say more.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • NO REFUND AFTER 5 MONTHS

    • By Hess A.,
    • London, England,
    • Aug 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    It’s the same old story clearly! I am another victim of this awful company. I get responses back from a "Maria" and try to get palmed off every time. The last message being:

    "Unfortunately, we as support agents are not aware of the reason for delay.

    We are able to forward the request to our supervisor and then they are transferred to our Financial Department"

    It’s been the most time-wasting and exhausting messaging of my life! They owe me and many women money! I will be taking this further.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Do not trust this company

    • By Chelsea O.,
    • Ohio,
    • Aug 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Their money-back guarantee IS NOT GUARANTEED. They say they will get you your refund within 30 business days. I was one of the few people to get their refund back (after two months). I only think I got my refund in that time because I was so annoying. I emailed them weekly, I commented on their Facebook posts, I commented on others' Facebook posts, I made Facebook posts, and I made memes calling them out. When I started urging others to make a complaint with the FTC and BBB they finally got my refund to me, and then they blocked me from commenting and posting on their Facebook page. They also delete comments and posts that aren't positive about their product. Super shady business taking advantage of people in pain.

    Save yourself the headache AND DO NOT BUY.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Scam alert! Do not buy this product.

    • By Roberta P.,
    • Catalonia, Spain,
    • Aug 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you're considering buying Livia for period pain, DON'T. If it doesn't work for you, you'll never get your money back. Like so many other women, I've been waiting 4 months for a refund, which never comes. They fob you off by telling you you're on the "urgent, urgent list" and hope you'll forget about it. I love what another woman on here said about trying to get a refund from Livia is more painful than an actual period! Most women who buy this over-priced product are desperate for some relief and Livia gives us just the opposite. Has anyone actually gotten a refund off them? How did you do it?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


Showing 1-11 of 91

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