A Montreal invention to put an end to menstrual pain
Primary dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain) affects 80% of menstruating women and people.
A young engineer and entrepreneur from Montreal has developed an invention that would considerably calm menstrual cramps, and therefore reduce the pain of menstruation. Very promising, the device she created has just won the Mitacs prize for social innovation.
Suffering from painful cramps herself during her menstrual cycle, Nanette Sene, CEO of startupJuno, set out to use her knowledge of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering to try to find a solution to this problem which affects many women and menstruating people.
“Menstrual pain is very common, it affects 80% of women. However, very little research and innovation is done in this area,” she explains. While many studies focus on women’s mood changes during their cycle, only 0.1% of scientific papers focus on pain.
“The goal is to bring innovation to the field of women’s health, where almost nothing has yet been explored,” summarizes the innovator.
The result of her work, conducted in collaboration with Juno co-founder Lynn Doughane, is a wearable, adherent device that is worn under clothing, on the stomach, at the level of the uterus. Thanks to microelectronics, it inhibits the sensation of pain and relieves the muscles by numbing them.
Much like heat packs, it’s an alternative to drug pain treatments, except it’s even more convenient and effective.
Nanette Sene, CEO of Juno and Mechanical Engineer
“It’s discreet, light and rechargeable, so you can use it all day. Our goal, ultimately, is that women who have menstrual pain can live better and not have to miss work or deprive themselves of activities they enjoy,” she adds.
From invention to commercialization
Still at the prototype stage, Juno's creation (which does not yet bear a name) will soon be tested on more than thirty patients in Lebanon – the home country of Lynn Doudhale. Nanette then intends to obtain approval from the FDA and Health Canada so that her invention is recognized as a class II medical device.
Their one-of-a-kind wearable device is rechargeable, provides long-lasting relief, and most importantly, is comfortable when worn under clothing. It adheres discreetly to the pelvic area of the abdomen and uses microelectronics to relax muscles and block pain signals sent to the brain.
Once all of these steps have been completed, Juno hopes to bring its finished product to market by the end of the year 2024 or the beginning of 2025. Before getting it to test it, you will therefore have to be patient a little longer (literally).