What if there was a way to instantly stop period pains by simply putting on a tiny device in the hip area? Australia has an answer for that. Female-led, Australian start-up Ovira launched a small wearable device designed to instantly stop period pain. Founded by Alice Williams, a 27-year-old endometriosis sufferer, Ovira is a pocket-sized device that sends low-level pulses of electric vibrations which can block pain signals from entering the brain. Designed to be worn under clothing on the lower back or abdomen, the discreet device harnesses transcutaneous electrical nerve therapy (TENS) to offer a non-drug-based pain intervention for the 90% of Australian women who suffer from painful periods. Keep reading to find out more about the device that stops menstrual pain.
How Does It Work?
The electrotherapy treatment method works by stimulating the nerves at point of contact. This overloads the brain’s pain receptors almost instantly to provide pain relief. The body does not build up a tolerance to the treatment, making it ideal for long-term use. This technology is common to use today and super safe. Usually to alleviate pain for women in labor, cancer patients, and physiotherapists to aid in muscle recovery.
Williams was inspired to create Ovira after years of searching for a pain management option for her endometriosis that did not involve potentially harmful medication or invasive procedures. Ovira reimagines the application of TENS therapy to be a more adaptable, seamless, and effective everyday period and endometriosis pain management option. The launch comes just months after a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It was on the prevalence of endometriosis in Australian women. The report indicated that the condition resulted in 34,200 hospitalizations between 2016 – 2017. The report found that as many as one in nine women between the ages of 40 to 44 have endometriosis. One in 15 women between 25 and 29 are estimated to have been diagnosed with the condition.
“For years, I sought out help and advice from doctors and specialists about how to manage my endometriosis pain. The recommendations are the same stock-standard responses: it was either the contraceptive pill, strong painkillers or surgery. But all of these treatment methods carry with them their own risks,” explains Williams. For her, it was time to change the way we think about women’s pain and make it a priority.
Williams is a part of Startmate, a start-up incubator from the venture capitalist firm Blackbird. Williams spent over one year developing and refining the brand product alongside an industrial designer.
Normalizing Menstrual Pain
Lots of women suffer enormous amounts of pain during their menstrual cycle. However, we really do not give the topic much thought. According to a survey conducted by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, almost a quarter of women require time off work due to pain associated with periods.
The brand enters the market at a time when products such as period underwear and menstrual cups are creating more options for women. Women can manage their periods as well as normalizing the conversation around menstruation. With a background studying health science and psychology, coupled with a successful career in the film industry, Williams understands how critical it is for women to have a space to share their stories and be part of a broader cultural shift. “For too long, there’s just been this quiet assumption that period pain is a part of life. Women have suffered this pain in silence because there’s a taboo around talking about menstruation openly. It isn’t just a pain-relief product, it’s a community where women can be empowered, both physically and emotionally,” she says.
“The women I speak to express so much gratitude about finally having a solution that is natural, non-invasive, and works. Hearing how much impact Ovira has on their daily life is exciting. For some women, using Ovira can mean the difference in being able to go to work or not,” she says. Ovira is looking to reach both the Australian and the US market. It is CE Marked, TGA registered and FDA Approved, making it recognized as safe across Australia, Europe, and the United States. Ovira is now available to purchase here.
While you’re here, check out our story on period beauty and why it’s so 2020.