If you’re looking for a drug-free way to ease period cramps, then you’ll want to read this Ovira Noha Period Cramp Relief Device review. Nearly everyone who menstruates will deal with dysmenorrhea (period cramps) at some point during their cycle. For some, this pain is unobtrusive and may be a little uncomfortable but, for others – including myself – some months can be a huge disruption to regular routine.
The Ovira Noha Period Cramp Relief Device (also known as the Ovira Noha Period Pain Relief Device in the UK and Australia) attempts to help ease that monthly agony with a compact and discreet TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machine. These work by sending electromagnetic vibrations to nerves in certain parts of the body – in this case, the nerves in your abdomen or lower back – to inhibit the signals carrying pain from reaching your brain.
The very nature of a TENS machine means that not everyone will be able to use this device, as it can interfere with other things such as pacemakers and metal implants. Given this, it’s highly recommended you check in with your doctor before using it.
If you are able to use it and are keen, you can wear it any time, anywhere and it’s an ideal alternative to heat packs and medication. However, like heat packs and medication, it may not give you full relief – something you ought to keep in mind when considering a TENS machine like this.
Australian-owned company Ovira keeps this in mind by offering a 100-day trial. That gives roughly 3-4 regular cycles for you to test it on, otherwise you can request a full refund if it’s not working for you. And given the price of the device, that’s a great relief – its initial cost is more than your average heat pack and there’s ongoing costs to consider as well.
Ovira Noha review: price and availability
The Ovira Noha Period Cramp Relief Device originates from Australia and is also available in a number of other markets, including the US and the UK. Pricing starts at $139 / £119 / AU$189 and, while this is a bit of a pricey investment for something that might not work for you, Ovira does offer a 100-day trial scheme so you can get your money back if you’re not satisfied.
However, the initial cost isn’t the only one. Over time you’ll have to replace the sticky gel pads that you’ll need to affix the machine onto your abdomen. You’ll get around 15 uses out of each pair according to the manual, (I’ve yet to replace mine after having used them on 10 different occasions) but it’s worth keeping in mind that replacements will set you back $19 / £25 / AU$50 for a pack of six.
Ovira Noha review: design and application
The main body of the Ovira Noha TENS machine is a white plastic oval with three buttons on top and a clip on the rear. It measures just 6.5cm in length by 3.8cm in width and it’s this compact design that makes the Ovira so discreet that you can use it anytime and anywhere. It’s so light that you can very easily forget you have it on while going about your day.
Simply clip the unit onto your underwear’s waistband, stick what Ovira calls Love Handles onto your skin in the appropriate spots, switch it on and you’re good to go. I found it stays in place really well and was able to test it while wearing jeans and with a dress to see how different layers would hold the machine in place. Pants definitely gave a more secure hold with an extra layer of security, but I didn’t have any issues with the Ovira losing its place under a dress or skirt.
On the front of the oval are three buttons – one for power and two to adjust the electric current intensity. Also on the front is a little indicator light that not only glows when the machine is on, but will also blink if the Ovira Noha’s battery needs a top-up and will change color depending on battery levels while it’s charging.
The top end of the Ovira Noha is home to a six-pin port that connects the aforementioned Love Handles to the machine via slim cables. The Love Handles are essentially the electrodes and each attaches to your torso via replaceable sticky gel pads. Finding the right placement for each Love Handle can take a bit of practice, though there are small diagrams in the Ovira Noha’s manual to help you with positioning both on your abdomen and lower back.
Thoughtfully, a round plastic disc is provided in the box to help protect the sticky side of the gel pads when you need to store them away, letting you maximize the number of uses you get out of them. Also provided in the box is a small drawstring bag to store the whole machine away, including the accompanying USB-A cord that you’ll need to use to charge the machine.
Ovira Noha review: performance and use
The Ovira Noha does exactly what it says on the tin – it sends small electrical pulses to nerve endings under your skin to inhibit pain signals from reaching your brain. This helps to relax muscles in your uterine area, providing pain relief from menstrual cramps.
It’s safe to wear all day if you need to, with the Ovira lasting about 10 hours on a full charge, then taking less than 2 hours to top up again.
Furthermore, there’s a safety feature that will automatically turn the device off when the Love Handles are too close together or it detects a build up of charge. This kept happening to me when I initially started using the Ovira Noha, with the machine switching off after a short interval. However, after adjusting the Love Handles to be slightly further apart, this stopped being an issue.
But here’s the thing with period pain: even medication may not necessarily help every individual every single time. It’s the same with the Ovira Noha – it’s very hard to assess how well it’s performing as it’s dependent on the individual’s pain tolerance levels and each month can be different for every person.
While I did think my pain levels were lower than normal during my period, I was initially disappointed by how little… but then I perhaps went into this with very high expectations. That said, I did have days when I completely forgot I was on my period because I felt nothing. One of these instances was during my heaviest cycle and I decided to go to a gaming arcade – not only did the Ovira Noha stay concealed all evening, I also had a painless time when my cramps are typically at their worst.
Another colleague also tried the Ovira around the same time as my testing and had a similar experience. However, in her case the sticky gel pads caused some irritation on dry skin, making the Love Handles a little uncomfortable to wear for long.
Despite this, we were both impressed with how well it stayed connected and concealed. Having both been long-time heat pack users, it’s great to have something so much more convenient when out and about. Personally, though, I think the Ovira Noha can’t replace the warm hug-like feeling you get from a heat pack, but you can’t conceal a heat pack while enjoying a night out with friends.
Ovira Noha review: verdict
Ultimately, the Ovira Noha Period Pain Relief Device is one of the most discreet ways to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps without the use of medication. Its small, compact design and ability to be hidden underneath clothing make it more convenient than a heat pack, and potentially healthier in the long run than swallowing pills each month. That said, not everyone will benefit.
With this in mind, Ovira’s 100-day return policy is a promising option for those who are looking for an alternative option for pain relief. And while the initial cost seems a bit steep for a little device like this, its overall benefit is worth the price if you typically suffer from debilitating cramps.
Applying heat to affected areas is a traditional way to reduce the pain from menstrual cramps, and there are a few devices on the market that replace the old microwavable heat pack for a more controlled and long-lasting relief option. The Hypervice Venom 2 Back wraps around your body like a hug and applies both heat and vibration to your back to help relieve pain. While it might not be as compact as the Ovria Noha, it is another drug-free option for period pain relief, especially if you suffer from back pain during your monthly cycle. It is a pricey purchase though, even more so than the Ovira Noha.