Looking for relief from endometriosis.
I was eleven when I was thrust into the realm of femininity, an experience that felt cruelly ironic at the time. While my days were spent with Tanbark in my shoes and asphalt scrapes on my knees, my reproductive system marched at a different rate.
I have no doubt that my story is very similar to that of a loved one; a sister, aunt, girlfriend or colleague. The slight cramps I experienced at first quickly turned into a completely different monster. I have vivid memories of curling up in the fetus on the cold kitchen floor, my head in my hands and sweat on my forehead, while my mother called the family doctor. When I was 13 I had my first abdominal ultrasound.
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The subsequent diagnosis? Wind pain. For the next decade, I reluctantly accepted that menstrual pain was a part of my life and the holy trinity of menstrual pain became my shelter: Naprogesic, a heat pack and mint tea.
A quick look at 2019 – a year marked by cyst ruptures and fainting spells – and I finally dragged myself back to the GP. I vividly remember waking up at 4 a.m. one night in excruciating pain that could only be explained as appendix or Ridley Scott’s Chestburster Creature from 1979 movie Alien clawing out of my womb.
After a series of internal ultrasound examinations, referrals to a gynecologist, and specialist examinations, a laparoscopy was performed in June 2020. The laparoscopy showed the stage four stage Endometriosis with deep adhesions my gynecologist suspected for years, a diagnosis that left me both relieved and depressed.
A common misconception is that endometriosis only occurs in the reproductive system. During my operation, they found extensive adhesions and cysts on both my bladder and intestines and were unable to remove all of them.
One of the first questions I asked my gynecologist after my operation was how I lived with such a serious illness without knowing it in the evening. To make matters even more complicated, she shared that the physical pain of endometriosis doesn’t necessarily match the severity of the condition – which I’ve been thinking about a lot since then.
It is this gap in education and discussion that has allowed the disease to fly under the radar for years, with “women’s problems” often serving as a euphemism for endometriosis, PCOS, and other debilitating conditions.
While my pain after the operation is reduced with the help of the Kyleena the IUD, I was a long way from the woods. I saw a naturopath, changed my diet, and introduced castor oil into my routine. But the An obstacle Noha device had been on my radar for a while, and ads were popping up here and there on my social networks.
To be honest, my first impression was rather disappointing. It looked like a money robbery from another corporate entity trying to capitalize on women’s pain. However, as I dug a little deeper, I learned that not only was it founded by Australian Alice Williams female, but also suffered from endometriosis.
After hearing stories from friends of friends and seeing a post by Fashion Journal employee Jasmine Wallis, I decided to swallow my pride and give it a try. The device is drug-free and uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS technology overloading the nervous system to reduce the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
Better still, it’s safe to use with both synthetic and copper coils. The technology has been around for years as a method of short-term pain relief for back and neck injuries, arthritis and, more recently, menstrual pain.
The package arrived in a neat little, aesthetically pleasing box. To be honest, the high-tech gadget was terrifyingly intimidating and looked like something out of the Grey’s Anatomy set. On further examination, and to my surprise, the instructions were relatively straightforward. I charged my Noha device and went back to work.
About half an hour later, I slapped the aptly named Love Handles a few inches below my belly button, where I am most in pain. Small electrical currents flow through the pads and into your nerve roots, which supply sensory fibers to the uterus. With the small oval slider you can increase or decrease the strength of the pulses as you wish, depending on the severity of the pain.
Expecting to feel something reminiscent of a shitty nail salon massage chair, the tiny little pulses felt more like a subtle tingling sensation, but in a comforting way (who would have thought that was possible?) I’m with Extremely skeptical of all that promises immediate pain relief, especially since I’ve tried everything under the sun to relieve my annoying endo cramps.
But within 20 minutes the dull pain radiating from my right ovary and the pulsating sciatica in my leg (cheering, radiating pain) had noticeably subsided. I spent my day paying very little attention to the device on my stomach, sometimes forgetting it was there at all.
In the days that followed, I continued to use my Noha machine while doing my usual business activities working from home. The abdominal pain, which likes to flare up around noon, has been massively reduced to a subtle pain that I hardly noticed. My daily pain, which fluctuated between five and seven, was unquestionably reduced to a solid two.
I even took my device to my local cafe for a lap around the block, with all the little bits neatly (and inconspicuously) hidden under my sweater. My Noha and I seemed to work so harmoniously that when I was moving I accidentally tossed the device around the room and forgot it was attached to my top, but that’s probably more my fault than a product flaw (oops).
The only real downside to the device? Ovira does not recommend sleeping while wearing the Noha, as applying electrical impulses to the neck, chest or face can be dangerous. That’s why I’ll keep my practical heat pack on standby for the time being for nighttime use. Knowing that there are companies like Ovira whose real ethos is to improve the quality of life for people with chronic menstrual pain warms my heart (and uterus).
So would I recommend it? A definitive answer is difficult to give here as all bodies are unique. What worked for me may not work for the next person. But if you’re also on the verge of effective pain relief and are interested in trying a drug-free option, I really recommend you give it a try. I’m sure glad I did.
Find out more about Ovira here.