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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

TENS Unit Period Cramps: What It Is and How It Relieves Pain

A woman sitting on a couch while touching her abdomen in pain

Period cramps characterise primary dysmenorrhea. It commonly affects women during menstrual cycles. There are various treatment options available, such as painkillers. However, some may not provide the desired results. This is where a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS unit for period cramps comes into play. It is a drug-free and non-invasive method of pain relief. TENS works by delivering electrical impulses to the affected area. Consequently, it disrupts the pain signals and provides relief.

People with period pain often experience different symptoms. This includes stomach cramps, lower back pain, and pelvic discomfort. It happens when the uterus contracts to expel the uterine lining. Dealing with these can be a monthly struggle for many women. Thus, they need an effective solution. A portable TENS machine for period pain is one option. To know more about it, the following sections will present what the device is, how it works, and how to effectively operate it.

What is a TENS Unit for Period Cramps?

A TENS unit for period cramps is a battery-operated device. It uses electrical currents to alleviate pain. These electrical pulses help block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. As a result, it lessens the discomfort that menstrual cramps cause. TENS machines offer a natural method for managing painful periods. Thus, it is a popular choice for women seeking alternatives to pain relief.

TENS units come in a variety of sizes and shapes. However, they typically consist of two electrodes attached to a device. Traditional TENS devices are handheld and have wires. Meanwhile, newer models are available in the form of wearable devices or gels that women can place directly on the skin. They can buy a TENS machine for period pain in-store or online, such as iTENS from iTENS Australia.

Additionally, individuals can combine TENS with other methods of pain relief to maximise their benefits. Overall, many women find that using TENS is beneficial. It allows them to continue with their daily activities, exercise routines, and work commitments without being hindered by menstrual pain. Moreover, it gives them a sense of control over their well-being.

Advantages of the Therapy Over Other Methods

  • Non-invasive: TENS therapy does not require any intrusive procedures. Hence, it is a safer option compared to other methods that may involve needles.
  • Drug-free: It provides pain relief without the need for medications. This reduces the risk of potential side effects and dependency on drugs.
  • Customisable treatment: Users can adjust the settings of the electrical pulses to suit their comfort levels.
  • Convenient: The TENS units are small, lightweight, and handy. This allows individuals to use them discreetly and on the go.
  • Versatile: Not only does TENS alleviate abdominal cramps but it also helps relieve different types of acute and chronic pain like neuropathic pain.

A TENS kit with refillable gel pad pack and necessary information

How a TENS Unit for Period Cramps Relieve Pain

A TENS unit for period cramps is a portable device. The machine emits electrical impulses by applying electrodes to the pain site. Then, the unit stimulates the sensory nerves, which aid the release of endorphins. These are the natural painkillers of the body. Moreover, it can help to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Consequently, it provides natural pain relief.

TENS also improves blood circulation in the pelvic area. This reduces inflammation and reduces the pain level of cramps. In addition, using TENS can have a relaxing and soothing effect. The gentle electrical pulses can relax the muscles and reduce tension. Hence, women experience a sense of comfort and relaxation during menstruation.

One of the main benefits of TENS is its ability to provide quick and targeted pain relief. This means that the relief is focused on a specific area and it helps to reduce pain in the shortest period. Furthermore, TENS has pre-set modes where the user can select the type of relief they require. Regular use of TENS for menstrual pain can help improve the quality of life of women.

Low and High Frequencies

When using TENS for menstrual periods, people can utilise low frequencies. Typically, this ranges from 2-10 Hz. It targets the nerves to encourage the body to release endorphins. This can help reduce the severity of period cramps and provide comfort during menstruation. Using this method offers long-lasting pain relief.

On the other hand, high frequencies, at 50 Hz and above, can help with muscle spasms and cramping. These frequencies also promote increased blood circulation to the area, which can alleviate discomfort. By using both frequencies, individuals may experience a comprehensive approach to managing pain during their menstrual cycle.

A woman using a TENS machine on her lower back

How to Operate a TENS Unit for Period Cramps

To operate a TENS unit for period cramps, start by preparing the skin and the device. Both of these should be clean and dry before use. Connect the adhesive electrodes to the appropriate cables. Then, place the electrode pads onto the lower abdomen. Additionally, individuals can attach the electrodes to the lower back. The pads must be on either side of the spinal cord.

Once everything is in place, turn on the machine and adjust it to individual needs. Increase or decrease the intensity as necessary to get period pain relief. There should be a tingling or buzzing sensation, but it should not be painful. Women can experiment with different settings to find the best stimulation level for them. They can go about their daily activities while undergoing the treatment session.

The duration of TENS therapy sessions should last between 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, turn off the machine and carefully remove the electrodes from the skin. Store the unit in a safe place for future use. Be sure to follow the instructions for cleaning and maintaining the device. Also, consult with a health professional for safe and appropriate use.

Safety Guidelines

When operating a TENS unit, ensure that the device is used safely to prevent any potential harm. Always start a session at the lowest setting to prevent electrical shocks. In addition, avoid placing the electrode on broken or irritated skin. Otherwise, it can cause further irritation and pain.

Moreover, it is important to move the electrodes around throughout the session. This makes sure that the current is spread out across the targeted area instead of being concentrated in one place. If people experience any adverse effects or allergic reactions, stop the treatment. Then, seek the advice of a healthcare professional.


A TENS unit for period cramps is a useful tool for many women. It is an electrical device that produces mild pulses of electricity. They stimulate the nerves to block the sensation of pain in the lower abdomen and lower back. Utilising low- and high-frequency TENS settings allows for customised pain reductions. Proper usage is necessary for maximum relief. Thus, women should follow proper electrode placement based on the manual or the suggestion of their doctors.

Additionally, individuals should adhere to safety precautions. This prevents further discomfort and inconvenience. One example is by always starting a treatment session using the lowest intensity level. As a result, they can prevent sudden shocks. When using TENS, they should also observe the reaction of their body or skin to TENS. If they experience adverse reactions, it is best to seek medical advice. Nevertheless, TENS is generally safe and effective as long as it is utilised properly.

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