I Put A Magnet In My Underwear To Help Stop Cramps And Other Period Pain, And This Is What Happened
My two favorite hobbies in life are complaining and oversharing, and I am just TICKLED to tell you that I am about to do both of those things in spades: MENSTRUATING IS THE WORST, and I am telling you that as a person who is enduring it as I type. (Yes, I can do my job AND be on my period at the same time. Round of applause for my ability to multi-task, y'all.) While I am a proponent of toughing things out and pride myself on my ability to endure pain when it comes to injuries and workouts and such, I feel like my uterus has no business slowing me down, and am more than happy to shut it up by popping ibuprofen whenever the vaginal blood rain begins. That's why, when I heard that there is a magnet that is supposed to ease menstrual cramps on the market, I felt possessed to try it for myself.
Actually, the whole thing wasn't even my idea. My period-related complaining is so prolific and widespread that my loving mother purchased me the mn8 "discreet medical device" for period pain, a product that originated in the UK and has recently been made available to the U.S. market. Essentially, the mn8 is made of two plastic pieces that magnetize together to stick to the top of your underpants, and then use their magic magnet voodoo (I assume that's the technical term) to make your period pain go away. Here is a picture for your reference:
And because I know you all secretly clicked this link to get a good hard look at my faithful granny panties, here is what the device looks like when it's on:
You're welcome, America.
The device itself comes in a box that has zero science in it, and I am the world's biggest cynic, so my eyes were already prepping themselves to roll. It did claim in the tiny packet that came with it that it could relieve "breast tenderness, reduction in facial spots, less water retention and bloating, and endometriosis" as well as possibly make your hair shinier (because, naturally, when I'm in gut wrenching agony, I'm usually very concerned about looking like a shampoo model).
A bit of background on my uterus: Like me, it is very dramatic. When I get cramps, they radiate all the way down to my legs, to my shins, and to the tops of my feet, while also waging war on my intestinal region. It is extraordinarily painful and befitting of the human geyser I become during the first two days of my cycle, so I usually end up taking anywhere between six to eight Advil a day so it'll chill the eff out.
As luck would have it, my period began just a few days after this device arrived in the mail. I usually have a two hour window between period launch and complete agony, so I put it in right away. I'd like to be able to tell you that it solved all of my woes and magically whisked the pain away like Menstrual Fairy Godmother, but if I told you that, I would be lying. That's not what happened at all.
Around hour three, I was already in shambles. It's a good thing I work from home, because my largest struggle in life is not groaning out loud when I'm in this kind of pain and at least I am at full liberty to do that from the safety of my own couch, which was the only comfort I had in this time of period peril. Why, tiny magnet?! Why did you forsake me?!
In defense of this magnet, my cramps are so terrible that it is a little bit like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. But to counter my defense of this magnet, it also claims that it eases endometriosis symptoms; If it can't cure my above average pain, what is it doing for the humans who experience it in its most terrible, excruciating form?
Still, I was determined to attempt to ride this roller coaster all the way to its brutal end, so I didn't take any ibuprofen, and even managed to put on a pair of nice-fitting jeans and go out to dinner. YES, I was in agony the entire night, but bless the restaurant we went to for serving breakfast for dinner, because I chowed down on every salted, fatty breakfast food I could get my hands on.
Fast forward to the middle of that night. Around 2AM, the cramps were so bad that they woke me up. I was determined to stick it out still, and then I heard an animal whining. A few seconds later, I realized that animal was me. Game over, period magnet. I popped an Advil and spent the next few hours rolling around in my sadness waiting for it to kick in.
That being said, I am relieved and happy to report that it was the only slip-up in my magnet vow. The next day, which is usually as prolifically awful as the first day, was actually not nearly as unbearable as it usually is. Maybe the key to making this device work for you is anticipating when your periods will come and strapping it to yourself before it happens. (Alas, the biological mechanisms of my uterus are so unpredictable that if this organ could laugh at me for trying to chart its adventures, it would. But this strategy might work for women who have more predictable cycles.)
Also, maybe it is in my head, but I really did feel significantly less bloated than I usually do, and this is coming from a person who went to town on a pile of hash browns and bacon and an entire chocolate banana milkshake the night before. I'm now on Day Four and past the Danger Zone of cramping, but I've still got it on and I haven't had the desire to irrationally scream at my stomach since that first night.
Final verdict? If this thing works, you should probably strap it on before your period starts. I did notice a major improvement in bloating, and I am impressed by how discreet the magnet is. I never remembered I was wearing it until I got up to pee and was then vaguely confused by the glittery pink thing coming at me. I would not recommend this is a permanent solution for anyone who has chronic and terrible period pain, but it might be a step toward limiting reckless Advil consumption that is worth giving a try.
Images: Wikimedia; Giphy; YouTube