It’s been just over a couple of weeks since I received my My Livia device and I must say a HUGE thank you to all of you who read my review and were messaging me about the device – the response was fab!
Since I have been using it, I have been taking it to work (when I’m non-clinical, so 3 days a week) and when I’m going out and about (although that is not very common!) and am still finding that it is a really beneficial device that I find effective to decrease my Endometriosis and Adenomyosis pain as well as my menstrual cramps.
Now, if you remember reading my review then you will know that I had a couple of concerns with the device – the first being the price (yes, it’s almost £150!) and the second being the battery life. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I have had a few teething problems with my own Livia device but that is nothing to do with the Livia device as a whole and is purely my device alone. It’s also been rectified.
What I’m referring to is that my Livia device was not holding it’s battery at all – I was getting about 3 hours of use out of it on the lower settings. Thankfully, my problem was escalated to the Chief Executive of the company who was brilliant and sent me out a replacement (as well as 2 extra skins!). Why am I mentioning this? Because not only did I want any reviews of this device to be honest, but I thought it was important to highlight that the company were really helpful. Be reassured that this was a problem with my device alone, so please do not be put off this product.
That aside, I have had my device with me on my non-clinical days and used it as much as I could and no one has even noticed (if you’re wondering why I haven’t worn it on my clinical days, the reason is as simple as the fact I may come into contact with someone who hasn’t declared they have device like a pacemaker). It fits snug under clothes and stays attached – even to a material like tights.
I have also not had to change the gel pads yet. The instruction leaflet talks about how the gel pads will likely need changing after 15 uses, but from my “Physiotherapy brain”, I know that as long as the gel pads are still very adhesive, in tact and not peeling then they will be fine. Plus, if I did change it every 15 times then I’d have gone through 2 sets of gel pads by now.
So in a nutshell, I am still finding the device effective in the sense that after about 15-30 minutes my pain decreases. It is important to say that it does not take my pain away completely, but I wouldn’t expect it to. Why? Because its chronic pain caused by an inflammatory disease in which TENS cannot change. However, everyone’s experience of TENS will be different, but I would say that it is more likely the My Livia device will get rid of your menstrual pain if it is not related to a chronic condition like Endometriosis (and this is something that the My Livia studies have shown).
My concerns about the battery life and price still stand. Despite the device being advertised at having a battery life of between 12-15 hours, the company confirmed to me that it is more like to be between 6-12 hours, with 12 hours being if you had it on the lowest setting. I guess the good thing is that charging the device only takes around 1 hour to 1 hour 15, which to me meant that if it ran out at work when I had it on a slightly higher setting, I could recharge it and use it again fairly quickly.
And now for the price. Ah the price. If you head to the My Livia website at any time of the year, you will find that it will pretty much always be on offer, and almost always for the same price. The retail price of the My Livia device is £149. This includes the device, a carry case, USB charging cable and the electrodes with between an additional 2-3 sets of gel pads. The majority of the offers have the kit at £119 with between 3-6 extra sets of gel pads, plus or minus a free Livia skin. It offers free delivery guaranteed to arrive quickly; usually 3 days. If you want to buy any extra bits and pieces for your device, the prices aren’t actually too bad until you come to delivery. The electrodes are £22-25, the gel pads are up to £25 for a “6 month supply” and the additional skins are between £9-£12, but delivery of any order under £100 is £15.
Now you might look at that and think that’s not too bad, but when you may only want one item it is, and it almost encourages you to buy more. The delivery price put my dad off buying extra gel pad for me for Christmas.
But there is a sneaky little extra. If you are outside the USA (which is where my replacement was shipped from), you will be forced to pay import fees.
This is information that is not shown anywhere on their website. I don’t know if they have to display that information, but I think it would be useful. How did I find out about the import fees? Well I had a message on the tracking information randomly appear for my replacement that I had a fee to pay, and that without paying it the delivery driver would not hand over my item. If you do not have access to tracking information, that’s a pretty nasty surprise when the parcel arrives, right? For my address in the UK it was just over £26. So imagine you have paid over £100 for the device, then have an additional fee to pay. I think it’s quite cheeky and thankfully the company apologised and paid it for me – they claimed they knew nothing about the import fees I would have to pay, yet I did some research and found lots of reviews talking about how they had the same surprise.
Plus, I’d also be really careful about buying the My Livia device off eBay or Amazon. I was doing some research and despite the sites offering the devices, a lot of the people reviewing them claimed they received used devices, used electrodes or even obviously broken products. I couldn’t find any information on their website about proper distributors, so be warned!
So really for me, whilst the device works really well and is a great bit of kit, I don’t agree with how expensive it is and could potentially be for some customers. That’s my issue. I am happy to recommend the product for it’s effectiveness but not for the price. I will keep using it because it does work for me, I just wish their pricing could be more accessible.