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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

TENS Unit for Cramps Period: The Need to Know

A woman clutching her abdomen due to period cramps while in bed

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that can treat acute and chronic pain conditions, including period pain. The TENS unit for period cramps is a device that employs electrical pulses as a method of pain relief. Accordingly, it works by disrupting the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Additionally, TENS can stimulate the release of endorphins. Furthermore, the treatment for period pain provides benefits. It is non-invasive, drug-free, customisable, and cost-effective.

Menstrual cramps are a common issue that many women face each month. It can be debilitating, impacting daily activities and the overall quality of life. Common forms of period pain relief may include hot water bottles and over-the-counter drugs. However, they may not always provide adequate relief. Hence, individuals are turning to alternative methods. One promising approach is TENS therapy. This article will present the TENS unit for menstrual cramps, how it works, and its benefits.

What is a TENS Unit for Period Cramps?

Menstrual pain, or dysmenorrhea, occurs when the uterus contracts to help expel its lining during the menstrual period of a woman. It can cause discomfort ranging from mild to severe cramps. Accordingly, this can affect the lower abdomen, lower back, and thighs. Fortunately, TENS therapy offers positive effects to alleviate the discomfort. Thus, it is a sought-after solution for many.

The TENS unit for period cramps is a device that delivers electrical currents to specific areas of the body. It streams electrical impulses via electrode pads placed on the skin. Furthermore, the unit is available in wired and wireless functionalities. Hence, it provides options to users. Healthcare professionals and pain specialists often recommend TENS to people with period pain.

To use a TENS device effectively, it is essential to start by preparing the skin. Then, place the electrodes in the treatment region. The standard pad placement is in the lower abdomen and lower back. Nevertheless, adhering to the proper electrode placement is essential in the therapy. Next, turn on the TENS unit. Finally, adjust the settings, choose a pre-set program, and initiate the treatment.

Causes of Menstrual Pain

  • Uterine contractions: It is the primary cause of painful periods. The high levels of prostaglandins can trigger these contractions.
  • Endometriosis pain: It occurs when tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus grows outside it.
  • Adenomyosis: The inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. It causes discomfort, heavy periods, and pressure.
  • Uterine fibroids: Non-cancerous growths in the uterus can lead to pressure.
  • Cervical stenosis: In some individuals, the opening of the cervix is small and restricts menstrual flow.
  • Ovarian cysts: Fluid-filled sacs on the ovary can cause pelvic pain and discomfort during menstruation.

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How a TENS Unit for Period Cramps Works for Pain Relief

Generally, the TENS unit for period cramps works by sending low-voltage electrical currents. These pulses travel along the nerve fibres, leading to several beneficial outcomes. Firstly, the electrical impulses stimulate the production of endorphins. These are the natural painkillers of the body. They bind to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, it produces feelings of well-being.

Secondly, TENS therapy employs the Theory of Pain Gate. It suggests that the nervous system has a “gate” mechanism in the spinal cord. This either allows or blocks menstrual pain signals to the brain. Nevertheless, the electrical signals from TENS can effectively close this “gate”. By doing so, they prevent pain messages from reaching the brain. Hence, it reduces pain perception.

Furthermore, the electrical stimulation from TENS enhances blood circulation. Improved blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. It helps to ease the muscle contractions that cause cramps. Additionally, it facilitates the removal of waste products that can contribute to pain sensations. Therefore, it soothes the discomfort and promotes healing in the treatment area.

Frequencies and Intensities

The customisation of frequency and intensity settings is crucial to maximising TENS therapy. Foremost, the frequency refers to the number of electrical pulses delivered per second, measured in Hertz (Hz). A TENS unit can typically be adjusted to produce low and high frequencies. High-frequency TENS are at above 50 Hz, while low-frequency are at below 10 Hz.

Meanwhile, intensity describes the strength of the electrical impulses. It is measured in Milliamperes (mA). The intensity is usually adjustable and can be set to a level that feels strong yet comfortable to the user. Nevertheless, the right intensity should produce a tingling sensation without causing discomfort.

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Benefits of Using a TENS Unit for Period Cramps

A TENS unit for period cramps presents numerous benefits for women seeking relief. Foremost, TENS provides targeted relief. The electrodes can be placed directly in the treatment area. Secondly, TENS therapy is non-invasive. It does not require any surgical procedures or penetration into the body. Thirdly, the treatment is drug-free. It allows women to avoid the potential side effects and dependencies associated with medications.

Fourthly, TENS devices have customisation features. It allows users to adjust the frequency of treatments, pulse amplitudes, and duration. This ability ensures that each user can find the most comfortable and practical setting. Furthermore, TENS treatment is cost-effective. It eliminates ongoing expenses on medications or frequent visits to healthcare providers.

Moreover, the portability of TENS units is particularly beneficial. They are compact, easy to carry, and can be used anywhere, providing continuous pain relief. Additionally, TENS therapy can be used in conjunction with other pain management techniques, such as heat therapy or medication. Hence, this complementary aspect makes TENS a versatile tool in a comprehensive approach for period pain relief.

Are There Potential Side Effects?

Despite its effectiveness and safety, users should be aware of minimal potential side effects. Some individuals might experience skin irritation or allergic reactions under the electrode pads. Users should regularly check their skin or use hypoallergenic pads to minimise this risk.

Additionally, in rare cases, a person might feel muscle twitching during the use of TENS devices. It can occur if the parameters are set too high. Nevertheless, users can easily avoid this by starting with lower settings and gradually increasing it to a comfortable level. Though not common, overuse of TENS can lead to muscle soreness.


In conclusion, uterine contractions, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts are the common causes of menstrual pain. Fortunately, a TENS unit for period cramps is a helpful tool. It is a device that is available in wired and wireless functionalities and is recommended by professionals. Accordingly, TENS therapy works by delivering electrical pulses to the treatment area. The impulses can block the transmission of pain signals, trigger endorphin release, and improve blood flow.

Furthermore, the electrical currents can stream in different frequencies and intensities. The frequency can be adjusted to low and high. Meanwhile, the intensity can be set to a comfort level. Moreover, the TENS device presents numerous benefits to users. It is non-invasive, drug-free, customisable, portable, and easy to use. Also, it provides targeted relief and can complement other treatments. However, knowing the potential side effects is crucial for optimal TENS therapy.

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