Livia Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
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.

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. 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

Start your review of Livia:
  • 92 Customer Reviews
  • 57% Recommend This Product
3.2 out of 5
5 star: 51% 4 star: 3% 3 star: 2% 2 star: 1% 1 star: 42%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • Buyer beware

    • By Eden Miller,
    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jan 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The device didn't work for me at all. No problem, they've got a 60-day money back guarantee. Not so fast. They fail to mention anywhere (even the fine print) that returns do not cover return shipping. So you have to pay out of your own pocket to ship it back to ISRAEL! Shipping alone cost me $30, and I haven't seen a refund yet.

    This company is oily. They blocked me from commenting on Facebook to warn other buyers. Very misleading and they should be ashamed. Don't bother.

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


  • Scam! Never got the product!

    Overall Experience:

    I tried to purchase this item, but it was NEVER shipped. I tried to contact customer service, despite their limited effort to tell me that I have entered a wrong address (which was NOT true but I gave them the address again anyway). I tried to contact them through email and Facebook message and received ZERO reply! They just blocked me on Facebook and never reply my emails again!

    It is definitely a scam and do NOT buy! I have all the proof of the charge on my credit card, but I NEVER received any email or order number AT ALL!

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


  • Beware of this shady company

    • By Megan Bell,
    • Boston, MA,
    • Feb 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I tried Livia for one month, and I felt it didn’t work for me and meet the needs that I have as a working woman. So I initiated a return with the company and was informed that return shipping is not covered, so they suggested I ship it by the cheapest method that comes with the tracking number. I spent $40 to send it back to Israel.

    After emailing the company multiple times and receiving no answer, I messaged them through Facebook and get the same response every time, "I'll have my colleague check into it and get back to you." I sent my package back on November 14th, 2017, and today is February 24th, 2017, and I have no idea where my package is. I periodically checked the tracking number and three times delivery was attempted to the address they told me to put on the package, but the delivery was not accepted. Now it’s in pre-shipment somewhere, I assume to maybe come back to me but who knows.

    I would seriously beware if you were thinking about ordering from this company. This product is nothing more than a weak tens unit. If it doesn’t work for you, you may never see your money back. I did not order the Livia through this website, so this will not be a verified review, but I just wanted to let other people know since there is no other place on their website or their Facebook page to leave reviews.

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


  • Bad customer service and no effect

    • By Agnes,
    • Germany,
    • Apr 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Be aware that there are high shipping and tax costs additional as they ship from Israel. I had to pay around 100 Euro for taxes. Sending it back would cost again around 50 Euro for the shipment.

    I emailed the customer service that they should make it more clear and they just replied it's in their terms and conditions that they won't cover import or other taxes. A very unfriendly and unprofessional reply.

    The device looks like cheap plastic and does not have any effect (I have been using it for 3threedays now). Waste of money.

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


  • Extremely poor customer service - product did not work as promised

    • By Biliana,
    • London, England,
    • Apr 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered the product three months ago; delivery was ok, along with the product packaging. I tried the product over the course of two months, however, it did not relieve any of my period pain. Hence I decided to return. Please be aware that you have to ship the product back to Israel at your own cost.

    After tracking the product in a week time, it kept saying that the packaging has not been collected and accepted. After messaging them millions of times (I deal with Alina who has been replying back but it has not been helpful at all), I still don’t have a clear answer whether the product has been accepted by them and a refund has been actioned. After asking for her management email address, Alina replied that she can not provide me with such information.

    It definitely looks like a scam which should be avoided at all costs. At the end of the day, all we want is a working product and a clear communication, which they failed to deliver for me. Extremely disappointed!

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


  • Updated review

    Update

    • By T,
    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • May 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    5/23/18: Well, somehow, some way, I got a full refund. It has been three months in the making, but it eventually happened. Don't give up friends!

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

    • Previous review
    • May 22, 2018

    Unimpressed...

    I bought my device back in late December 2017 and received it sometime in January 2018.

    Unfortunately, the Livia device didn't really do anything to ease my cramps. I get bad cramps every month for most of the month, so I was really hoping for it to alleviate the symptoms. I gave it a try for the duration of my menstrual period plus the days where I would have random cramping.

    While it was unfortunate that the device did not work for me, my real gripe was with trying to return the device.

    I went to the post office to try and send it back, but Canada Post won't allow you to ship it back because of the battery that is inside. My only option with Canada Post was via boat, which takes 2-3 months and has no way for you to track it. They told me my best bet is to use a courier, so off I went.

    I went to the UPS store right by the post office and asked them for a quote to ship to Israel. They said it would be $200 to ship it back. I was astounded. The kind lady at the desk offered to check the prices with DHL as it may be cheaper. It was not.

    I checked FedEx and Purolator to see how much it would be to ship with them and it was around $162. There was seriously no way I was going to pay more on shipping that I had on the device itself.

    I had emailed Livia customer service and the lady I was conversing with, Nataliya, didn't believe that it actually would cost me $200 to try and ship it back. I emailed them back and forth until I got an email on February 23rd from one of their other customer service representatives who was much more empathetic and said that she would speak with her colleagues and try to find a way for me to get my money back. Almost three months later and that never happened.

    I've basically given up on sending the device back and getting a refund, and all I have to say is that if you're in Canada like I am, it really is a gamble. If you do choose to get it, just be aware that sending it back it almost impossible.

    (read moreread less...)

  • Bad

    • By Egle B.,
    • Lithuania,
    • Jun 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered Livia more than half a year ago. Not only that, shipping took so long to get here the device did not work on me at all. After contacting the company, they told me to send Livia back. So I did. They received the item and said that the refund will follow soon after. After six months, still no refund, and we were messaging the company every few weeks asking questions when the refund will reach us. After making a public post on Facebook, we were blessed with the attention on the company, and they said sorry and sent a screenshot of our order being refunded, but still no money even after a week of their money transition. So I assume it was fake. The Facebook page has turned off the comment section and filters out reviews as I noticed.

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


  • Scam product does work and no refund

    • By Parisa G.,
    • New South Wales, Australia,
    • Jul 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was really hopeful when buying this product as I am quite reliant on pain relief (Naproxen) to relieve my period pain. I was, however, a bit reluctant in forking out so much money to purchase my Livia but was willing to give it a go because of the 120-day refund policy. I now ABSOLUTELY REGRET purchasing this item as it was not effective in relieving pain and the company have still not offered me a refund. I have been waiting for over 2 months since the day they received the item back. I believe this company is scamming customers and would not recommend, particularly if you are hesitant in spending that much money. This transaction has been my poorest online shopping experience to date

    My experience overall:

    1) Delivery was slow (approximately 30 days to AUS).

    2) The product did not actually relieve my pain, and if anything, when I wore it in public for the first time I experienced the worst period pain I have ever had, to the point that I was sweating and my boyfriend could see the pain on my face. The device creates an uncomfortable stinging sensation, which over time subsides. When I applied the higher settings the spasms it was causing was too much!

    3) I returned the device within the 120-day period and have followed up on multiple occasions about a refund. Every time I get a response with the same thing, "it's with the finance team and they will get back to me soon." I have received this same email 3 times. Their initial feedback was that they would give me a refund within 30 business days (this is already a very long period to wait). I have been waiting now since the 29th of April and it's the 17th of July today.

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


  • Buyer beware

    • By Amanda W.,
    • Utah,
    • Aug 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The device doesn't work, and similar devices are on sale for under $40. This overpriced, cheap piece of junk was mailed to me and took over two weeks to get to my house. After trying it for two months, it didn't do a darn thing.

    I contacted them and they told me that I was still under the 120-day money back guarantee and I needed to ship the item back to them. Turns out I needed to pay for the shipping back, which I wouldn't be to bummed about BUT they are in Israel! So, it's NOT cheap. It cost me $58 to get the item shipped with a tracking number. It has been stuck in customs for over 15 days, and they still haven't picked it up. Not only lost $158 for the device I paid, but also lost $58 on shipping.

    Beware, these people are scammers. They are now claiming they will refund me in 30 days. Why would I be crazy enough to wait 30 days more? Good thing I paid with a credit card. I am going to file a dispute with my credit card now and hopefully get my money back that way. Hopefully, more and more people will run into this website before purchasing this scam. I sure wish I would have seen it before.

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


  • Do yourself a favor and SKIP this

    • By Amy P.,
    • Florida,
    • Sep 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was extremely underwhelmed with this product and it did not work for me. I found it to be no different than any other TENS device other than the cute packaging it comes in. Everyone wants relief and this promised and guaranteed that it would.

    I read the returns policy prior to purchase and thought "well if it doesn't work, they 'happily' accept returns." What they DON'T tell you is that return shipping is not in the US, it is to Israel on your dime (38 bucks to be exact in my case). They have been promising a refund for...wait for it...FIVE MONTHS. Every month that passes I continue to reach out to the point of filing a formal complaint with the FTC because not only am I out for the money of the unit, I am out the additional money I paid to ship it back.

    So do yourself a favor and skip this one unless you are 10,000% sure it will work for you or wait until they come to the US for an easier process.

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


  • Rubbish customer service!

    • By Vicky J.,
    • Stafford, United Kingdom,
    • Oct 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    After being told a number of times "your item is on the way," after 4 weeks I was told by email it had arrived in the UK! And I had to pay £24 to get it delivered due to VAT. What a con! Free delivery! I was told it was in the terms and conditions, which was very very very long! Rubbish customer service, and I haven’t even gotten the thing yet!

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


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