What is it?
The OVIRA is an electrical stimulation device using a current called TENS. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS current is low amp (typically up to 80mA), high frequency (1–150 Hz) and low intensity, so it’s not painful but causes a tingling sensation, referred to as paraesthesia.
The device comprises a small rechargeable, battery-powered controller connected via a wire to large rectangular gel electrodes. These stick to your skin either on your tummy or lower back. They send electrical current into your skin and to the nerve fibres responsible for sensation in your abdomen. The electrical current stimulates your nerves and blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. It relaxes cramping muscles in your uterus too. The result is fast, with much reduced aches and pains before, during and after your period.
The OVA+ comes in a small white and bright pink glossy box which features the device and electrodes. On the back is simple information printed in English, Spanish, French and German, which lists the key features and contraindications. It’s clear, informative and rather cheerful.
Open the box up and tucked inside a sturdy two-tone pink zip-around storage bag is the whole OVA+ kit. It’s a neat idea that’s also eco friendly because it cuts down on unnecessary plastic wrappers in the packaging ♻️🌿. Inside are gauze pockets to secure all the bits and it’s big enough to fit in a pair of the large electrodes too. But the case is far from discrete. It’s a rather gaudy pink, I guess, to scare off the boys.
In the OVA+ period pain reliever box,
- Storage case
- OVA+ device
- OVA+ clip
- User guide
- USB charging cable
- Electrode Y-cable
- 1x pair of gel electrodes
Quality & design
The OVA+ device is a small, long, flat triangle shape with rounded corners. It’s made of a white glossy plastic with bright pink accents. There’s a recessed rectangular LCD screen at the top and three bright pink, oval silicone control buttons across the centre. There’s also a separate slide-off plastic pink clip too to fix the device to your knickers or waistband.
The 95cm USB charging cable is thick and flexible and fits snug in the top of the OVA+ device. Connect the USB to a mobile or tablet mains charger, or a laptop USB port. The Lithium ion battery takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours to fully charge, and each charge lasts for a minimum of 5 hours of use. You get at least 400 charging cycles, so all this equals a whopping 2,000 hours of pain relief. That’s plenty, so it will last several years of use.
You also get a pair of large electrodes with the OVA+ kit. They come in a small resealable plastic bag with an information leaflet and small cables attached. They’re latex free and branded with tiny TENSCARE logos on the soft fabric side. Affixed to the small, transparent, rectangular plastic liner is the dark grey, sticky hydrogel side of the electrodes. They’re super sticky. Keep the plastic liner and stick the electrodes back in place when you remove them from your skin.
Replacement electrodes come as the hydrogel pads with the pigtail connectors. Unfortunately, they aren’t yet biodegradable or recyclable. They have a shelf life of 2 years and come in different size packs. They’re good value compared to other brands. 1x pair is £7.50, 2x pair is £12 and 4x pair is £20. They last for 20 to 30 applications per pair, so you get pain relief for several periods from a single pair.
The electrodes connect to the OVA+ device via a Y-cable. The white wires are thin and lightweight, but flexible and durable, and the connections are nice and secure. One arm of the Y-cable is 48cm, and the other is a shorter 40cm. This allows you to position the electrodes with enough slack and secure the OVA+ device to one side of your body.
TIP: Make sure the OVA+ device is off before you connect or disconnect the electrodes & Y-cable or else you’ll get an unpleasant zap!
Controls & modes
The OVA+ is simple to operate using the three pink oval buttons and an LCD screen.
Long-press the 🔺button to turn on the OVA+ device. The LCD screen then shows the battery status and the selected mode (0 to 3). It always starts up with zero intensity. Short-press the 🔺button to increase the intensity level, as shown by the segments in the intensity bar. Two presses equals one segment and there are 20 segments (therefore 40 intensity increments in total). Use the highest intensity level that’s comfortable. Decrease the intensity using the 🔻 button.
The OVA+ is rather special because it offers four different modes. Long-press the centre 🔴 button to cycle through the modes (0 up to 3 and back to 0 again). These give you signal options to best match your individual nerve sensitivity. Because everyone’s a little different.
OVA+ modes: Mode 0 is a constant tingling which blocks pain signals and give the most relief. Mode 1 is a constant tingling, but less strong than 0 because it has a different pulse width. Mode 2 is a burst or pulses of tingling, and it lasts after OVA+ turned off. Mode 3 is fast tapping tingles, and it releases endorphins, so soothes over-excited nerves.
The intensity resets to 0 each time you change the program or turn it on. The OVA+ defaults to the last selected program when turned on. Long-press the 🔻 button to turn off the OVA+.
Before you start
Before your first use, charge the OVA+ device and read through the user manual. It’s a quick and easy read, well-designed and with helpful diagrams too.
The user manual has a quick start reference guide inside the first page. You can use this for subsequent uses, but first read the full user guide. The rest of the user manual explains all about period pains, what it’s for, the different modes, how to wear and use it, electrode care, battery and charging, warnings, precautions, adverse reactions, specifications and warranties.
Pay close attention to the warnings, precautions and contraindications. Common reasons you must not use the OVA+ are if you are pregnant, or 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth, have a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator, or any other implanted electronic device, have a wound or rash in the treatment area, over or close to cancerous lesions. The OVA+ will also interfere with electronic monitoring equipment, such as cardiac monitors and ECG alarms.
Talk to your doctor if you have had medical care for pain, surgery, heart problems or epilepsy.
TIP: You can wear the OVA+ whilst chilling in bed, but don’t use it whilst you sleep 💤.
How to wear it & when
Reach for your OVA+ whenever you feel discomfort or the twinge of period pain. It gives immediate relief, and further relaxes you after several minutes of use. So, unlike medication, there’s no delay before it takes effect.
Once you’ve charged the OVA+ device, you first need to stick the electrodes to your skin. Make sure it’s clean and dry.
You can place the electrodes on your tummy or on your back. They must sit over the nerve roots that supply the sensory fibres to the uterus. These are dermatomes T10, T11 and T12 shown in the diagrams below.
Connect the Y-cable to the electrode pigtails. Then, with care, peel off an electrode from the liner and smooth onto your skin. Remove the second electrode and position that with a gap of 10cm/4 inches between the electrodes. When on your tummy, the electrode wires must be at the top. And when on your lower back, the wires must be at the bottom.
IMPORTANT: Take care when pulling the electrodes from the liner or your skin. DON’T pull on the wires. Start from a corner and carefully pull along your skin.
When they’re in place, connect the Y-cable to the OVA+ device. Turn the device on and use the controller to find your best mode and intensity. Clip the OVA+ controller onto your knickers or waistband. Or pop it in a pocket.
You can wear the OVA+ for as long as you need relief. It’s a good idea to remove the electrode pads when not using them to avoid skin irritation and prolong the life of the electrodes. Check the battery too when you take it off and charge it if it needs it.
When not in use, I leave the OVA+ all assembled and in the storage case. So, next time you use it, you won’t need to connect all the wires. Secure the controller in the clip or in a pocket whilst you stick on the electrodes.
What’s it like & does it work?
I’ve suffered extremely painful periods since they first started. But they’ve gotten even worse as I hit my early 40s. The pain now sometimes extends to my knees, legs, hips and lower back, as well as my tummy area.
I can feel it coming a few hours before the bleeding starts. It starts out as a bearable dull ache. This builds to a painful peak that lasts for an hour or two and then fades. I double up on ibuprofen and paracetamol when I feel it coming. But sometimes it starts when I’m asleep or I don’t have painkillers to hand. So I’ll suffer for a bit until I get my mitts on painkillers and they kick in. Boy, it hurts. It’s exhausting and can even make me nauseous.
Over the next 3 days, it returns in waves a few hours at a time. Day 2 of my period is by far the worst, and sometimes the painkillers can’t quite dull all the pain in my tummy. It’s sometimes accompanied by sharp knee pain too. Then, it all fades throughout day 3.
“I’m keen to try the OVA+ to reduce how many painkillers I take per month. And also to have it at hand for any super intense and exhausting pain bursts.”
Here’s my feedback from using the OVA+ for pain relief over 4 periods.
Ease & comfort
The small user guide is informative and an easy read, although the print is teeny! The storage case is a super extra to keep the kit safe and stop the wires tangling in your bag if you’re out and about. It’s compact and sturdy, with strong mesh pockets to keep everything secure. But it’s super bright pink 😎, so it isn’t terribly discreet.
The OVA+ is straightforward to assemble. You need to push in the electrode pins together quite hard. It’s tiny, but a solid unit. However, the clip to secure it to clothing is rubbish 👎. It’s too big for the OVA+ controller, so it readily falls out and the clip itself is not grippy. It’s fixed, not very strong and without an adjustable hinge, so it slides off easily. I lost it somewhere during my very first use. So, now I slip the OVA+ controller in my pocket or under the waistband of my period knickers.
TIP: It’s best to first try the OVA+ when you’re at home. That’s because you may need several adjustments of the electrodes, as I did. Or to test it on your tummy and lower back to see which is most effective.
I’ve worn the electrodes on both my tummy and lower back. They’re extremely sticky on the first few applications. But the soft fabric backing is smooth, thin and comfy, and they don’t slip once in place. I have no nasty skin reactions or itching either.
It’s straightforward to wear them on your tummy because it’s easy to look down and see where you’re sticking them. But the lower back is trickier.
This involves a little twisting around whilst looking in a mirror. Also, the lower back diagram in the user guide is a little misleading. It doesn’t represent my padding around my derriere! A few failed tests show I need the electrodes further up than the diagram suggests, where my bum ends and curves into my lower back.
However, after a few applications, it’s easy to stick the electrodes in the right spot. The long shape covers more essential nerves, so pinpoint accuracy is less important than with smaller electrodes.
TIP: The length of the clear plastic liner is roughly 10cm, so you can use this to gauge where to place the second electrode. Be sure to pop the electrode liner into the storage case once you’ve applied the electrodes. It’s hard to spot if you forget where you put it!
Remove the electrodes with a slow steady pull from a corner or edge. It pulls your skin a bit, especially when they’re fresh and sticky, but it doesn’t hurt at all. Next, place each electrode back on the clear plastic liner.
Battery & electrodes life
The OVA+ has a good battery life. I use it for about an hour, 2 or 3 times a day over 3 days. So, for me, each 5 hours full charge lasts almost one full period. If the battery gets low on day 2, I’ll charge it overnight so it’s juiced-up and ready for use the next morning. A slightly longer lasting battery would be nice to see out one full period. But it’s easy to charge it overnight.
WHICH ELECTRODES CAN I USE?
You can use the TENSCARE 50x1000mm and the 50x900mm electrode pads with the OVA+.
TENSCARE says each pair of hydrogel electrodes is reusable to around 20 to 30 uses, which is excellent. Most other TENS period pain reliever gels last for only half that at 10 to 15 uses.
I stick them a maximum of 3 times per day for 3 days of my period. So, that’s 9 applications per period. I easily get 3 periods of use from each pair. You can also spritz with water to reactivate them when you notice they’re losing their adhesion and get even more wear out of them.
The electrode pads are durable and still in good shape even when they’ve lost their sticky. So, I also tried an electrode adhesive gel during period 4. It seems quite pricey for a small tube at £20. But the super sticky gel goes a long way, so it lasts a long time. Dab the electrode with some of the gel and smear it around with the tube tip. It leaves a sticky residue on your skin. But you can clean it off with a damp cloth.
When you turn the OVA+ on, it starts at zero intensity on mode 0. I tried all modes to see how they feel, but stuck with mode 0 because it offers me the best pain relief. Increasing the intensity to around 3 or 4 bars starts a gentle tingling, vibrating sensation against your skin.
You use the highest intensity level that’s comfortable. I start with the electrodes on my lower back, in which case the sweet spot intensity is around 20 to 24 presses or 10 to 12 bars on the LCD screen. But sometimes it’s more effective when worn on my tummy. There, I can’t have it so intense as this causes uncomfortable tensing and twitching muscles. 5 bars often do the trick, but sometimes I need to go up to 8 bars depending on the pain severity or how long I’ve worn it.
The OVA+ takes a little trial and error. But it helped me realise my period pains differ in severity each month. I hadn’t appreciated this because, unwilling to suffer any, I’d always reach for Ibuprofen and paracetamol at the first hint of pain.
The OVA+ TENS gives a tingling, vibrating sensation. It’s relaxing & soothing, and fast acting. Using the OVA+ I can take fewer painkillers over the troublesome days of my period. And a bonus is it soothes the lower back pain that often accompanies my cramps.
So, this is how OVA+ helps me.
I find it most effective in the first 24 hours. I pop it on when I sense that telltale uncomfortable aching in my tummy and it soothes and relaxes me immediately. And I feel less apprehensive about my period, which is good. For the first proper burst of pain (typically a pain level 7 or 8), it reduces to a manageable pain level of 2 or 3, and I don’t need any painkillers.
Plus, I love how fast acting it is. So, if pain wakes me in the night or early morning, I can wear the OVA+ for a short while (about 30 minutes) until my painkillers kick in, remove it and go back to sleep.
My pain is most intense between 24 to 48 hours (day 2). And I often get a secondary pain in my sacrum and left leg, which is uncomfortable and tiring. OVA+ doesn’t help with the leg pain, but worn on my lower back, it soothes the sacrum pain fast.
However, at some point I need to take 2x Ibuprofen. The leg pain combined with intense tummy pain is just too much. The OVA+ still works, and it eases my pain to around level 5. But it’s not enough and I need extra help. Regardless, I’m still happy because with the OVA+ and my Ibuprofen, I don’t need paracetamol as well. Therefore, it reduces my reliance on painkillers. Hurrah!
I’ll take more ibuprofen later only if I need it or if it’s close to bedtime and I feel some pain. I charge it the OVA+ too if it needs it.
Then, during day 3, the pain lessens and the OVA+ alone works a treat again.
To sum up
The OVA+ works well for me on all days of my period. I wear it regularly for around an hour a time throughout the first 3 days. I love the soothing vibrations and get a sense of immediate relaxation when I use it. I’m also reassured to have it close by to soothe any period pains quick that wake me during the night.
I still need painkillers sometimes. But now it’s much less. Before OVA+, I would take around 8 to 10 ibuprofen and 6 paracetamol over 3 days. With OVA+’s help, that’s now down to a maximum of 6 Ibuprofen. I think that’s a super improvement.
I love the OVA+ is comfy and discreet, with a good battery life and long-lasting top value electrodes. It’s awesome to ease period cramps and lower back pains fast. Mode 0 works fine for me, so I’ve not tested the others much. But it’s reassuring to know I can if I need them. I wish I’d bought the OVA+ decades ago.
Here are a few minor cons for you to consider.
First, it needs a far better clip mechanism to attach the OVA+ to your clothing. The clip supplied is too loose and weak to stay in place for long. I lost mine because of this. However, the controller is teeny, so I pop it under the waistband of my big, comfy period pants. Nice.
Next, the long-lasting, good value electrode pads sadly aren’t biodegradable or recyclable. So they end up in land-fill. It’s the same with rival brands too. I’ve asked TENSCARE about this and they say they’re working hard on a more eco-friendly design to replace their standard electrodes.
And finally, there’s no money-back guarantee with the OVA+. However, it’s from a super trustworthy and long established brand. Plus, it’s the most affordable TENS period pain reliever, at half the cost of most rivals. So, that’s not a biggie.
OVA+ Review Summary
The OVA+ TENS is comfy, easy, discreet, and gives fast pain relief. It’s the only device to offer 4 different modes to match to your specific types of cramp. So, you have more pain-soothing options. The battery life is ok, and it has the best value replacement electrodes by far. This little beaut is also the most affordable choice too. You can’t go wrong with the OVA+.
Here’s a summary of my test scores, and pros and cons for the OVA+ to help you decide:
Ease of use
A small TENS pain reliever device with 4 modes to match different nerve sensitivities and good battery life. Stick the electrodes to your tummy or lower back and adjust the intensity with the simple up/down controls. Replace with new electrodes every few months. Feels like a pleasant, tiny tingling & vibrating sensation which reduces painful cramps and aches fast. Use it before, during and after your period to fade menstrual & related pain such as ovulation and endometriosis.
Hands-free operation & no slip electrodes are invisible under clothes. Wear it for as long as you need. But let the skin under the electrodes breathe every few hours or between uses. Charge it overnight when needed, but don’t wear it when sleeping.
The soothing tingling vibrations relax and relieve right away, with greater relief over 15 to 20 minutes. Wear it for relief whilst you wait for painkillers to kick-in, to replace medication, or to reduce the amount of pain killing medication you need. Remove it when you find relief and replace it if you feel the aches return. Effective & discreet pain relief.
- Solid & well made
- Simple to assemble
- Easy to use
- Fast charging
- Good battery life
- Comfy & discreet to wear
- Larger electrodes than rivals
- 4 different modes to find your perfect match
- Calming vibrating sensation
- Quick pain relief
- Sturdy storage case
- Excellent value replacement electrodes
- FDA-cleared & CE certified
- Controller clip is rubbish
- Electrodes aren’t eco friendly
- No money-back guarantee
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