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Livia

Livia

Overall Rating

4.4

354 Customer Reviews

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Summary

Livia sends safe electrical pulses into your abdomen to block pain sensations from reaching your brain in order to give you pain relief from period cramps. Our review examines whether this device works and who can benefit from it.

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

Livia Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes

Updated on: Jun 30, 2020

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

Livia is a device that allegedly helps alleviate cramps and pain related to menstrual cycles. 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.

In this analysis, we’ll investigate whether Livia will work as described and whether it’s worth the investment.

How Does Livia Work?

Livia’s underlying technology is based on what’s known as the Gate Control Theory. Dr. Anthony Dugarte, HighYa’s medical researcher, said 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 Dr. 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,” Dr. 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

One-Time Purchase Subscription
Cost $199 $8/mon. (The first month is free, $29 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 for $29.

With the subscription plan, 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.

One-time Livia purchases come with a 120-day money-back guarantee. 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 on our website, 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

The Bottom Line

Livia claims to offer women with painful periods a drug-free way to get their lives back with minimal inconvenience. 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 Dr. 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.

Dr. 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 to rule out other health problems first.

Customer Reviews

4.4 Stars out of 354 Reviews
5 Star:77% 4 Star:10% 3 Star:1% 2 Star:0% 1 Star:11%
88% Recommend This Product
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Posted on Sep 16, 2021

Livia user for 2 years

By Bella B., Manila, Philippines, Verified Reviewer

Been using Livia for almost 2 years now, it's definitely a lifesaver. I get through my periods because of this. I am just obsessed with the skins, I wish I had all colors.

I've been functioning even when I'm experiencing my worst cramps because of Livia.

I also have friends who have bought and tried it out and this tiny device doesn't disappoint.

Length of Use: 1–2 years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Effectiveness

Its size and portability

Being able to switch skins

Customer service

Long shipping time

Posted on Sep 15, 2021

Say goodbye to period pain

By Nadia B., London, United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

Honestly a game-changer for my periods. Gets to work almost immediately, which means I can get on with my day without being uncomfortable in pain. I love that it’s a more natural method than taking painkillers.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Gets rid of my pain

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Sep 10, 2021

AWE-some!

By Taylor N., Cantonment, FL, Verified Reviewer

Livia is just amazing! As a plus-size woman with PCOS, I often have trouble finding relief forms for menstrual pain. Livia has helped me gain my mobility back and has actually increased my confidence! The only "bad" thing I can say about Livia is that I wish the sticky pads lasted longer. Thanks Livia!

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Gives relief

Battery life

Wearable

Sticky pads

Posted on Sep 10, 2021

Game changer

By Emily S., Ontario, Canada, Verified Reviewer

I have used my Livia for over two years now, it has helped my period cramps and the pain from my ovarian cysts. I have already recommended it to many friends and family.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Easy to use and charge

Very efficient

Adorable cases

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Sep 10, 2021

Best gadget for period cramps

By Jessica S., Maine, Verified Reviewer

I love Livia! This is the best period cramp relief that I have found on the market. Easy to use, very effective, and you can wear it under your clothes and no one will know.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Ease of use

Packs a powerful punch to cramps

Love the size

No “cons” were specified in this review

Posted on Sep 10, 2021

It’s helped greatly

By Cheyenne G., Spartanburg, SC, Verified Reviewer

My experience has been pleasant so far. I still think there should be more sticky pads, or the option to add more, and more intensity settings, but that just comes with time and updates.

For the most part my pain goes away while wearing it. Very rarely do I get super intense pain, but when I do, it takes most of it away to where it’s a very faint pain.

Length of Use: 1–2 years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

It is discreet

I can wear it to work without getting in the way

I can change the color

It needs more sticky pads

The battery drains even when you’re not using it

Posted on Sep 9, 2021

It works perfectly

By Penélope U., Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico, Verified Reviewer

I always suffer a lot of pain, but when I tried Livia, it really changed my life. I can take it everywhere, it's so small and pretty.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Easy to use

Very small

It really works

The pads

Posted on Aug 31, 2021

Finally a solution that works!

By Eliz M., Buffalo, NY, Verified Reviewer

I have had my Livia since the Kickstarter campaign and have not had any issues other than I had to reorder the flower pads as the cables can go bad. The product works well for me and my cramps so much so I don't need a heating pad or pain meds while using it. I don't use it every month because my periods range from mild to severe, but the months that are bad I can't live without this.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Takes pain away

Can increase levels if needed

Discreet

Flower petal wiring gets kinked due to storage

Posted on Aug 30, 2021

I love Livia

By Erin H., Richmond, VA, Verified Reviewer

It has given me my life back! I couldn’t even get out of bed on days where my cramps were so bad, but with Livia, I can wear the device and move around. It makes them bearable.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Pain relief

Portable

Rechargeable

Doesn’t last long

I feel like I have to wear it all day

Sticky pads don’t stick that well

Posted on Aug 25, 2021

Worth it

By Katie K., Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, Verified Reviewer

Livia changed my life. I get really terrible cramping and it made it so hard to function and look after my kids on those days. When I started looking for a solution, I found a Livia. I was a little skeptical, but decided to try it. I have no regrets. Livia helps so much! When I'm wearing the unit, it's like I can feel when I'm cramping, but the pain is significantly decreased. I highly recommend.

My only complaints are that my skin reacts a bit to the sticky gel pads, and customer service takes about a week to respond.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Significantly reduces pain

Unit is small and clips well to clothing

Fun colors

The sticky gel pads irritate my skin

Customer service is really slow

Shipping is also really, really slow

Posted on Aug 24, 2021

100% for the Livia, 0% for the customer service

By Coralie R., Montréal, Canada, Verified Reviewer

I have no words to express how Livia saved me from my terrible period pain. I would faint every month because of the pain, and this machine made it all disappear.

On the other hand, every time I had a problem with Livia, I had terrible troubles with customer service. When I was lucky enough to get an answer (even then, most of the time I would receive a "we will look into it" and no news for months), the staff was incredibly unrespectful and would lie to me several times.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

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

Pros and Cons

No more pain

Long battery life span

Monthly subscription

Customer service was always rude and lying, never answering or giving news

After a day of using the Livia (with a break every 1-2 jours as recommended) my belly gets super itchy

Hard to join and staff doesn't care about you

It takes them years to send the items, I received my Livia after 3 months of wait

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