Beyond their (admittedly useful) function of letting us know that we’ve made it through another month pregnancy-free, periods are essentially a massive inconvenience. The exhaustion! The expense! The low-level paranoia that you’re going to leave a bloody imprint on your mate’s sofa! Throw period pains into the mix, and it’s enough to make you want to hang up your Womanhood Cape™ altogether.
As you’d expect, Googling “period pain solutions” throws up a range of interesting ideas, from “drinking a tall glass of carrot juice” to “exercise” (hahaha). Most women we know choose to simply mainline ibuprofen and grit their teeth.
But it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a more high-tech way of combatting cramps. (This is, after all, a world where we need an app to remind us to talk to our partners.) Enter the Livia, a tiny gadget that promises to eliminate period pains through the magic of ~technology~.
The Livia looks kind of like an oversized iPod shuffle, and clips onto the waistband of your trousers or skirt in much the same way. Attached to the device are two splats of rubberised plastic, which you stick onto your stomach below your belly button.
These stickers send soothing little pulses into the abdomen, stimulating nerves and blocking pain receptors, which then prevents pain messages from travelling to the brain. Livia's creators claim that period pains will be stopped immediately - or at least be significantly reduced - by wearing one of the devices.
The Livia last up to 15 hours on a single charge, and, unless you're wearing a slinky dress, is small enough to wear under your clothes without anyone noticing. (Although, to be honest, even if someone does notice and asks what it is, who cares? Just tell them that it's a piece of expensive wearable tech designed to soothe the unbearable physical pain of being a woman, and continue as you were.)
After a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, the gadget is set to be released in October 2016. We haven’t been able to put it to the test yet – but if you’re willing to take a punt, you can preorder one for around £60 here.
First, though, check out their hilariously sarcastic campaign video, in which a glossy-haired model informs us that the Livia is “also very cute and colourful! Because we’re girls!”