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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

TENS Unit for Period Cramps: How It Helps Relieve Menstrual Pain

A woman clutching her lower abdomen due to period pain

Period pain affects millions of women worldwide. Fortunately, there is a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS unit for period cramps. It is an electrical device that delivers electrical pulses to the body as a method of pain relief. Consequently, these electrical impulses work in various exact mechanisms to help relieve menstrual cramps. It blocks the transmission of pain signals, prompts the production of endorphins, and promotes blood circulation in the treatment area.

Menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. This can impact daily activities and the overall quality of lifeHot water bottles and over-the-counter medications are commonly used to manage the discomfort. However, these may not always provide effective relief. This has led many women to explore other period pain relief, such as TENS pulse therapy. The following sections will present the TENS unit for painful periods, how it relieves discomfort, and how to use it.

What is a TENS Unit for Period Cramps?

Period pain discomfort refers to the lower abdominal cramps that many women experience during their menstrual cycle. One approach to alleviate the ailment is the use of a TENS unit for period cramps. It is a portable, battery-operated device that sends electrical currents to the body. The delivery of electrical pulses is possible due to the electrode pads placed on the skin.

Pain specialists and healthcare providers often recommend using a TENS portable device. Consequently, TENS therapy is commonly used by women seeking non-medication-based relief from menstrual pain. TENS units are available in both wired and wireless options. Hence, it offers flexibility and convenience to users, allowing them to choose the best device type.

Wired units typically feature electrode pads connected to the central machine. Meanwhile, wireless TENS offers the convenience of mobility. This allows users to move freely while receiving TENS therapy. It eliminates the need for wires and provides discreet and comfortable usage. Nevertheless, both options offer various features. This may include adjustable settings and pre-set programs.

Symptoms of Period Cramps

  • Lower abdominal discomfort: menstrual cramps often manifest as a dull or throbbing pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Backaches: some individuals may experience radiating ailment in the lower back, accompanying abdominal discomfort.
  • Nausea and vomiting: menstrual cramps can be associated with feelings of nausea and, in severe cases, may lead to vomiting.
  • Fatigue: menstrual pain can be accompanied by exhaustion and fatigue. This affects energy levels and overall well-being.
  • Digestive upset: it can lead to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation in some individuals.
  • Muscle pain: individuals may experience generalised muscle discomfort, particularly in the pelvic area.

A small and large wing iTENS with refill gel pads

How a TENS Unit for Period Cramps Works to Relieve Pain

A TENS unit for period cramps relieves discomfort by employing a few physiological mechanisms. When a TENS device is applied to the skin, it delivers low-voltage electrical currents to the nerve fibres beneath the surface. These electrical pulses can stimulate the release of endorphinsEndorphins are the natural chemicals of the body that act as natural painkillers.

Consequently, pain gating is another way in which the TENS unit operates. The electrical stimulation from TENS can effectively interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Then, the interference occurs through a process where electric currents essentially “close the gate” in the spinal cord. These inhibit or block the transmission of pain messages. Hence, it reduces the perception of pain.

In addition, TENS therapy can contribute to improved blood flow. The electrical impulses can help dilate blood vessels and enhance circulation. As a result, it promotes the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Moreover, the electrical currents can stream in a range of frequencies. This may include high-frequency TENS (above 50 Hz) and low-frequency TENS (below 10 Hz).

Advantages Over the Other Treatment Methods

Foremost, TENS therapy is non-invasive. It does not require any incisions or insertion of devices into the body. Secondly, TENS treatment provides a drug-free approach to period discomfort management. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who prefer to avoid or rely on pills for pain relief. Thirdly, it allows for targeted pain relief. Hence, it provides localised and specific period cramps relief.

Fourthly, TENS offer adjustable settings. This allows people to personalise the frequencyintensity level, and duration of electrical pulses. Additionally, TENS units are portable. Individuals can utilise it at home or on the go. Lastly, TENS therapy is associated with minimal side effects.

A woman using TENS on her lower back

How to Use a TENS Unit for Period Cramps

Using a TENS unit for period cramps involves several straightforward steps. Begin by attaching the electrodes to the central unit using physical wires. For wireless, connect it to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Then, locate the treatment region and prepare the skin. Next, position the electrode pads. It is vital to follow the electrode placement guide in this step to ensure the effectiveness of TENS therapy.

Once the electrodes are in place, power on the TENS unit. Depending on the specific model and design, the user may need to adjust the settings (frequency, intensity, and duration). Also, some models may offer pre-set programs. Thus, choose the program for menstrual cramps. Nevertheless, begin with the lowest setting and gradually increase it to a comfortable level.

Individuals may feel a tingling or buzzing sensation as the TENS unit delivers electrical stimulation. Consequently, the device can typically be used for a specified duration as recommended by the user manual of healthcare professionals. After the treatment session, power off the TENS unit and carefully remove the electrode pads from the skin.

Electrode Placement Guide

The first step is to select the appropriate electrode placement. There are several placement options, including the lower abdomen and lower back. Then, clean and dry the skin in the placement areas. For positioning on the lower abdomen, placing the electrodes horizontally on either side of the lower abdomen is advisable.

Additionally, when targeting the lower back, users can place the pads vertically on either side of the spine. Nevertheless, ensuring the adhesive patches are securely attached to the skin is vital. Also, ascertain the electrode pads have proper spacing to balance the delivery of electrical pulses.


In conclusion, lower abdominal discomfort, backaches, fatigue, and digestive upset are some common symptoms of menstrual cramps. Fortunately, the TENS unit for period cramps is a highly effective solution to alleviate the ailment. It is a wired or wireless device that delivers electrical currents to the body to provide relief. Consequently, TENS works to relieve pain by blocking the transmission of pain signals, triggering the release of endorphins, and promoting blood circulation.

Furthermore, TENS therapy offers numerous advantages over other treatment solutions. It is non-invasive, drug-free, customisable, portable, provides targeted relief, and has minimal side effects. Also, TENS units are easy to use. One must prepare the device, identify the treatment area, adjust the settings, and activate the stimulation. However, proper pad placement is crucial in TENS therapy. The placement for period cramps is commonly on the lower abdomen and lower back.

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