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This UK company stimulates your brain to get rid of period pain

This UK company stimulates your brain to get rid of period pain

A UK company is making (brain)waves in the women’s health industry by creating a headband that modulates premenstrual period pain.

The headband, called the Nettle, administers low-current electrical pulses to specific parts of the brain that deal with pain and mood regulation.

Samphire Neuroscience, the company behind the Nettle, is targeting those with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Both include symptoms like mood swings, depression, and fatigue that hit in the days before menstruation starts, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Emilė Radyte, neuroscientist and co-founder of Samphire Neuroscience, said she got the idea from her own experiences with PMS and by studying depression.

“You have the same symptoms every month, but when it’s depression, the discourse is serious but the words PMS are a joke,” Radyte said in an interview.

“[Premenstrual pain] is so prevalent and so neglected, so I wanted to know about the neuroscience of it and bring something to this market that’s so far unseen,” she added.

Radyte said those who participated in their clinical trials saw the benefits if they used it for at least 20 minutes on the few days before their menstrual cycle starts.

For now, the NHS recommends hormonal medicines, like the contraceptive pill, pain killers or antidepressants for treating PMS.

People can also try other techniques, like cognitive behavioural therapy, dietary supplements or acupuncture. The NHS notes that “evidence of their effectiveness is limited”.

Launch planned for later this year

Samphire Neuroscience received $2.3 million (€2.1 million) in preseed funding this week from investors in the UK, Australia, and the Baltics.

This money, Radyte said, will help cover the launch of the medical device later this year.

“Women have been waiting way for technology like this for way too long, and we want to make it accessible to anyone that’s following our work,” Radyte said.

The Nettle will cost £360 (€420) at its launch.

Radyte said the medical validation for the Nettle is done and it will be entering the EU market later this year as a class 2 medical device, for those that are generally "low to medium risk". One option to get it would be through your doctor.