AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - There may be a new way to stop menstrual cramps for women without taking any medication.
Technology from TENS units is now being targeted toward women who suffer bad menstrual cramps.
TENS units may be familiar to people who suffer from back or muscular pain - the device uses electrical nerve stimulation to trick the body into thinking it's not in pain.
Now being sold as a portable device, this unit comes with two suction pads you place wherever the pain is hitting.
Turn on the device and it vibrates just enough to send electromagnetic pulses to the brain to stop the pain.
This has tested to be safe, but still has some women skeptical.
"I probably wouldn't try it because I feel like girls have been dealing with that for thousands of years and I can deal with it," said Aidan Findley, an Amarillo resident. "I don't know the risks so probably not."
"I probably wouldn't try it until it's been out for a little bit to work out some kinks and whatnot," said Vanessa Talmadge, also of Amarillo. "I do think it's a little weird, but it's interesting because some people have really bad cramps and don't want to try out birth control or anything."
No studies have been done to prove TENS units are any more effective at combating cramps than current medication.
One local doctor says he won't recommend it to his patients until such a study is conducted.
"They're going to have to prove that this is actually better than current treatments, which would be ibuprofen or perhaps birth control pills," said Dr. Robert Kauffman, Director of Reproductive Medicine at TTUHSC. "Now certainly those who cannot tolerate ibuprofen or should not take birth control pills for whatever reason, this might be a great alternative."
Not risking the side effects that come with many traditional medicines is enough to get the attention of some women.
"Advil is good, too, but that has a lot of side effects in itself, so then I don't know," said Mitzi Rodriguez of Amarillo. "I'd be willing to try it, definitely."
Since this type of product can be purchased without a doctor's prescription, it can be a little pricey because it will not be covered by your insurance.
Kauffman said the only major side effect women could experience from a product like this is an allergic reaction to the suction pads.