to think that I shouldn't tell school about this?

(82 Posts)
Bogeyface Thu 15-Nov-12 22:40:41

DD is 15, in her final year of GCSE's (16 in July) and will be leaving to go to college.

Over the last few months she has had a day or 2 off every few weeks due to "feeling really really sick" and looking like death warmed up. Her sisters are hypoglycemic and her symptoms are similar so I try to perk her up with juice, a decent breakfast etc and doesnt work. She cant eat it and often throws it up.

Then I checked my diary. Without fail, for the last 4 months, it has been on the first full day of her period. I get absolutely awful shits with my periods, and I have read that that is quite common, so I am wondering if this is her version of that? But also, her periods are very very heavy, she often floods and has accidents on her first day, which I am beginning to think may the real reason she doesnt want to go in. I dont blame her, I suffered the most humiliating experience in my life aged 14 at school because my mum didnt want to hear about it sad I consider that to be an acceptable reason to stay at home, especially for a hard working student who never takes a day off other than that.

Anyway.....thats kind of irrelevant. I was talking to my (childless) sister who suffers far worse than DD or I do with periods (and we are pretty bad) and she said that I should tell school so that when she isnt in, they know why and dont think that she or we are trying swing the lead.

If she was 12 then I would agree as she would have another 4 years at school ahead of her, but she has 6 months of school and then a month or so of exams and then she is leaving. So I am thinking, why make an issue out of it?

I always write notes/emails and it has never been questioned before and it is probably very common to have girls off with period related issues in a senior school so they have probably worked it out before I have!

I think that we should just roll with it over the next 6 months, but DSis disagrees, quite vehemently!

AIBU?

Fairenuff Thu 15-Nov-12 23:11:08

Had the same thing with my dd recently. Same age, similar problems. Felt very faint at school a couple of times and also felt sick and in a lot of pain.

I took her to the gp. We asked for a female doctor and I went in with her (sat in the background so that she could speak for herself but just there for moral support and to clarify any questions she couldn't answer).

The gp did a blood test just to check a few things, pressed the top of her tummy (she didn't need to remove clothes) and then prescribed Mefenamic Acid which reduces blood flow.

We went back after a couple of months and no improvement and gp prescribed the pill alongside the Mefenamic Acid. This seems to have helped a lot. Also, she has the added benefit of knowing which days she will get her period so she never gets caught out.

She was a bit nervous before but didn't feel embarrased. It was the best decision, don't put it off, it's really worth seeing if there is anything they can do to help her.

I think you should go to the GP get that process underway then you can say something to the school along the lines of "DD has a problem with her periods which the GP is investigating etc." because then the school knows it is a medical issue that is being looked into.

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:19:29

I don't think the school needs to know the details but I do think you need to help her to improve her attendance.

The GP will be very kind. DD had a very short phase of self harming and not eating a few years ago. The GP was incredibly sensitive and very helpful. We were referred straight away and she made it very easy for DD to talk to her. All well now.

Your dd needs to know that even personal problems can be sorted out very easily nowadays and that there is nothing to be embarassed about. Your GP will deal with embarassing things all the time and to him or her they are utterly routine and probably wiped from their consciousness immediately.

Bogeyface Thu 15-Nov-12 23:21:31

I am not putting it off but she is. She keeps saying thats she ok, when she clearly isnt. She is very embarrassed and I know she would find it hard, thats where the battle is really, to get her to accept that a little bit of blushing is worth it.

I will insist, I promise.

VenusRising Thu 15-Nov-12 23:25:33

You must get her to a GP and a referral on if necessary - also

You must let the school know, based on what her GP and consultant says, as she may well need extra time and facilitation through her exams.
If she's 15 she's old enough to know that this situation isn't sustainable over her lifetime. Show her this thread.

Bogeyface Thu 15-Nov-12 23:28:58

Oh Venus there is no way she could deal with this thread!

We are all old enough to know, she is still learning. But I will give her the "hormonal teenager" version of this thread!

VenusRising Thu 15-Nov-12 23:33:35

Sorry, at 15 I was ready to leave home.

She's GOT to get this sorted - her life will improve so much if she's healthy - all that pain and illness and bloodloss can't be good for her self esteem let alone her health.

You HAVE to get her to the docs, and you HAVE to let the school know as she may well need extra time etc in exams.

15 is old enough for her to realise that this isn't sustainable, and she needs to get serious about taking responsibility for her own health and life - especially if she's off to college.

Do show her this thread - it might buck her up no end to see we've all been there and survived.

Debs75 Thu 15-Nov-12 23:34:09

OP this could of been me telling you about dd1 these last few years.

When she started her periods she was sick for 2 days. They sent her home from school she was so ill. Sick every hour all night, when I aksed her about periods she said she had started that day. Since then she has gotten worse. She was sent home one day after leaking in a class. She leaked all over the car once and she floods the first night of her period. I talked with her about her options and she chose not to do anything as we both hoped that they would get better.
The last straw for her was when we went away last year and she felt she ruined her holiday by being on and feeling sick. We went to the dr's, be careful about which dr as the one we saw was an arse and made her feel very belittled. She too is a private person and that appointment was agonising for her. If I had know how bad he was I would of changed to a different dr. anyway she got the pill and now she knows when she will be on, much better than her erratic cycle. On the plus side as well they are a bit lighter. Still heavy but better. She can also miss out the break if she wants to avoid her period due to a holiday.

Don't worry about not telling the school the real reason, I am sure her teacher will realise that she is taking regular time off and can see it is cyclical(sp). Periods are a private thing and a huge cause of embarressment for most women. It is unfair to put her through added agony. Even when working I would be loathe to disclose why I needed time off further then the 'womens problems' line.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 15-Nov-12 23:36:13

She does need to seek medical help but she has a legal right to not disclose the nature of the medical issue to the school.

It is nothing to do with them what the medical issue is they only need to know that she has one and she has the legal right to decide if she wants them told or not.

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:36:19

You take her to the GP. You do the talking. Can you go to the GP first to make him or her aware of how nervous your daughter is get some reassurance that your daughter won't be examined, etc., just asked some questions, blood pressure checked, poss blood test, may be prescribed some tablets (the pill) to help.

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:40:55

She is 15... why on earth couldnt she deal with this thread??

Periods are a normal part of life and will be for the next 30 years or so for her, but there is absolutely no need for her to feel like this once a month.

Periods are nothing to be embarassed about at all.

VenusRising Thu 15-Nov-12 23:42:11

See that's where I just don't agree with this skulking around with your head stuck deep into your maxi pads, blushing with the mortification of it.

If you had a broken leg you'd go to the emergency room, get an xray and the bone set, and you'd wear a cast until you were better. Heavy periods are a medical problem - and there are solutions, so women can get on with their lives.

You have one life, just get this medical problem sorted and live it to the max.

FWIW I went on the pill, and was fine - it cleared up my horrendous acne too - but I wasted two years dithering and thinking it would get better on its own - it didn't, so I did something about it, and never looked back.

You owe it to your DD to get this medical problem fixed. Think about it in terms of her leg being broken and it's a no brainer what you have to do.

Pourquoimoi Thu 15-Nov-12 23:43:41

I am now on tranexamic acid and mefanamic acid tablets to reduce flow and they really have helped massively.

I have only been on them a few months (aged 39!!) due to bad aneamia which I have had for 20 years but they now decided to do something about it. Great stuff smile

ElectricMonk Thu 15-Nov-12 23:46:55

I agree that she must go to the GP and benefit from the huge amount of help available, but you should only raise the issue with the school with your daughter's consent if medical treatment hasn't helped enough for her to sit her exams without worrying.

In order to make the Dr's appointment as helpful as possible, I recommend that you ask on the phone for a female doctor who specialises in women's contraception if they have one. Generally, that will be the GP who is most skilled in putting young women at ease when talking about such issues, and who is likely to choose the most appropriate pill for your daughter if you all agree that it's the best way forward. If you can, call the day before and ask to leave a message for the GP so she knows in advance that the discussion will be difficult for your daughter and she really needs a solution soon to limit the impact on her schoolwork.

Incidentally, could you suggest that your daughter looks at this site and picks a few things to try? http://www.femininewear.co.uk/ Cloth pads would definitely help a lot with the flooding issues, and she may (now or in the future) want to try a menstrual cup if her flow is quite heavy. They hold a lot more liquid, don't need changing as often (no known risk of TSS), and made a huge difference to the terrible cramps which I always get with tampons and never with a cup. If she's interested in trying a cup, I really recommend the Size 1 Lunette for a teen - it's easier to insert than the UK's market leader IMO because it's very soft and has a more flexible rim, quite small and comes in pretty colours smile. I started using one for exams at her age so I wouldn't have to worry about flooding/changing tampons (heavy flow) and it did a world of good for my confidence and concentration.

VenusRising Thu 15-Nov-12 23:49:03

Exactly pourquoi! Glad to see the mefanamic acid works for you too.

OP there are huge advances in medicine regarding this problem now - I know you feel you were hard done by by your own mother - don't do the same thing - there's no need to suffer now!

Bogeyface Fri 16-Nov-12 00:03:38

See that's where I just don't agree with this skulking around with your head stuck deep into your maxi pads, blushing with the mortification of it

I am fine with all things menstrual but DD isnt, I dont know why but she just isnt. Post a "when did you have your last smear and why?" thread and see that there are a hell of alot of women who are not happy with discussing these things with a GP. I dont judge, so why are you? She is 15, not 35!

I have said, and will say again, that I want her to see the GP but I dont want to be all heavy handed about it. I will if I have to, but I would rather that she took the first step herself. That said, I think we are at crunch time and I will get her in with the doctor over the Xmas hols.

squeakytoy Fri 16-Nov-12 00:09:46

Talking about periods with your mum, and between your mates IS quite normal though for the majority of people.

I do think you need to tactfully push her more and I cant see that reading this thread would be mortifying for her either. It may be less mortifying that trying to have the conversation, and help her to realise that almost every woman on this earth has period issues at some point in their lives.

Wolfiefan Fri 16-Nov-12 00:09:55

Poor her. I really don't think the school need to know you suspect it is to do with menstruation. Perhaps if you have a diagnosis it could be worth telling a tutor. (Special arrangements re exams? Separate room if required and/or regular toilet breaks. They need to staff these.)
Perhaps put it to her that an employer or college won't tolerate monthly time off so it needs sorting.
I can understand she is mortified but better than your experience. Poor you.

IvanaNap Fri 16-Nov-12 00:10:10

"mefanamic" - that's the one
<can sleep easy>

Do you have a practice nurse, OP?

Pictureperfect Fri 16-Nov-12 00:17:24

I would first go to your gp. My periods vary and recently I was in hospital and had a really heavy one, the care assistants told the doctor who came in, asked a few question and prescribed tablets to reduce flow and for pain, they worked really really well and he said to take them home and take them when needed. Many people don't get help until their late 20's or even 30's when the problem began as a teenager and could of been helped sooner

Pictureperfect Fri 16-Nov-12 00:19:04

Ps) I was diagnosed with a condition and my school had to be given a copy of the assessment from my pead. I was embarrassed as although I know periods are normal the letter included the details and also my weight. I was also 15

OHforDUCKScake Fri 16-Nov-12 07:27:26

Something almost identical happened to me and the school demanded to know 'the details'. I hated them for that but I guess they have their reasons.

You might have to tell them but Id try not to if I were you, for the same reasons.

maddening Fri 16-Nov-12 07:40:29

Book in with a female gp and you go in with her.

Also - do talk about it with her - tell her about your own experience - she will relate to it. Show her that there's no reason to feel embarrassed smile

teacherandguideleader Fri 16-Nov-12 07:52:32

I would tell the school.

I had a boy with IBS who didn't want to tell the school as he was embarrassed so would regularly get notes to say he was off with diarrhoea - it got recorded as illness. After a long chat with his mum he agreed to tell me the problem. We then started recording it differently on the register to make things easier for him looking at colleges. He was still learning to manage his condition. It also meant that he could do half days if necessary - come in late or go home early if he became ill. He was also issued with a toilet pass so he could leave class if needed.

Her form tutor or year head would be the best person to speak to.

fluffyraggies Fri 16-Nov-12 07:53:05

Bogey my youngest struggles with awful back pain and nausea around the time her period starts. For the last year she has missed a day of school almost every month because of it. She's just started Yr10. She would go off to school dreading PE, feeling sick, wearing a blooming great heat pad, dosed up with pain killers and with her school bag full of heavy duty sanitary products for the day sad

If she had a day off I would tell the school she had nausea and was in pain. I went through a similar thought process to you about being honest about the cause of the reasons she was not going in that day, as when i was at school we were all told in no uncertain terms that periods and period pain were normal and shouldn't stop you coming to school. My mum agreed.

Last month she was crippled with pain and couldn't go in to school on the day of a test. I thought that's it! And made an appt. with the GP, and wrote a letter for her teacher detailing her problems and the outcome of the trip to the GP.

Still early days to see weather the new tabs the GP prescribed will help, but it did her the world of good to see the (male) doctor horrified for her and tell her she needn't be suffering like this. DD also now knows she can be honest with her teacher if she is struggling at school on test days or whatever.

So .... i'd say telling is best. Good luck. You'll talk her round.

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