New Delhi Mar 8, 2019, (Research Matters):
Moved by the cries of a friend during her semester exams due to period cramps, two undergraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) decided to put an end to this suffering with a unique innovation— Sanfe Period Pain Relief Roll On. Launched today on International Women’s Day, it is a natural, oil-based formulation to relieve menstrual cramps in women.
Period or menstrual pain is a common part of the menstrual cycle where one feels painful muscle cramps in the tummy that can spread to the back and thighs. When the muscular wall of the womb contracts vigorously during the period, it compresses the blood vessels and leads to a poor blood supply. These contractions and the temporary oxygen deprivation cause pain and cramps. An estimated 40% of women miss their daily routine due to such cramps.
Archit Agarwal and Harry Sehrawat, pursuing their undergraduate studies in engineering, co-founded their startup named Sanfe, which has now developed the roll on solution. Earlier in November 2018, Sanfe had launched a Stand & Pee device for women which let women urinate while standing, thus preventing infections from dirty and unhygienic public washrooms. The startup is mentored by Prof Srinivasan Venkataraman from the Department of Design at IIT Delhi.
The Period Pain Relief Roll On can be applied on affected areas like the lower abdomen, lower back and legs. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and moves deeper into the muscles, providing a soothing action followed by a heating sensation, which relieves the cramps. The product costs ten rupees for a day’s use and remains effective up to eight hours after application.
Archit and Harry spent seven months experimenting on different natural oil-based solutions and came up with this formulation containing eucalyptus oil, Satva Pudina, wintergreen oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil. The product has been clinically tested on women from different age groups and has been found effective in relieving the pain without any side effects.
Dr Rita Bakshi, chairperson of international fertility centre, Green Park, New Delhi and a mentor to these researchers, shared that this new product is effective for quick relief and easing out mood swings faced by women during their menstruation cycle. She, however, suggested that one should seek medical help when the pain is severe and persistent.
This innovation could provide a more natural and manageable solution to period cramps instead of the commonly sought out painkillers, which could have undesirable side effects.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this news story had stated that this was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on the Press Release by IIT Delhi. However, IIT Delhi has later clarified that the claim of FDA approval was false.