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periods - 15 yr old won't use towels

(126 Posts)
Tidyyourroom Wed 20-Apr-11 16:34:04

My sister has told me that her 15 year old (who started her periods about 18 months ago) flatly refuses to use sanitary towels, and instead makes pads from toilet paper. She then insists on flushing it down the toilet, which on two occasions has resulted in her having to call a plumber.
My sister has talked repeatedly to her about this, supplied her with every type/brand of towel on the market, but my niece just says they are all uncomfortable, and continues to use toilet paper. She assures her Mum that she is using towels, takes them out of the packets, and hides them all over her room. This results in her underwear becoming soiled, which she also hides all over her bedroom.
I have offered to talk to my niece, but her Mum feels that her daughters' trust in her will be destroyed if she finds out that her mother has told me. My sister is in despair about this, and I would appreciate any advice/comments. Thank you.

Oh my goodness, the poor thing. Has she suggested tampons or a mooncup? I guess they would be problematic if she thinks towels are uncomfortable.

Does she say why they are uncomfortable? While I agree that they are, I can't think that toilet paper is any better comfortwise.

virginiasmonalogue Wed 20-Apr-11 16:37:37

Gosh I can't imagine why she would do this, and I doubt she'll stop until your sister knows why it is and can help her find a solution.

Has she tried tampons?? I used to dislike towels because they have a funny smell to them and tried tampons aged about 15 and never looked back.

Tidyyourroom Wed 20-Apr-11 16:45:16

Thans. My sister is a bit reluctant to suggest tampons - she feels A is a bit too young. I imagine she would feel the same about a mooncup.
My niece won't give a reason as to why she finds towels so uncomfortable - she says "they just are".

Dropdeadfred Wed 20-Apr-11 16:48:04

is she worried about the towels being visible? or making her walk funny?
my dd said she hated all the towels as she was sure people could tell even when she had jeans on
i bought her the teeniest tampons and panty liners instead and she used a combination of those

ChasingSquirrels Wed 20-Apr-11 16:48:29

I would definitely be suggesting tampons (well I would be suggesting a mooncup because I think they are fantastic), I certainly wouldn't think that 15 was too young, I used them right from the start and assumed that everyone else did too.
Towels are dire.

nickelbaalamb Wed 20-Apr-11 16:50:26

my mum used to refuse to let me use tampons - but in the end I forced her to buy me some.
I hated wearing towels, but i can't believe that toilt paper is more comfortable than towels!

Definitely think 15 is old enough for tampons.

TakeItOnTheChins Wed 20-Apr-11 16:57:49

What an odd way to behave! Has she got SN?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 20-Apr-11 17:00:50

how about washable towels (google fairy hammocks). They are much more comfortable than disposable and come with some really nice patterns.

holderness Wed 20-Apr-11 17:02:31

Perhaps she doesn't think she is old enough to be having periods herself.

So when she bleeds she only has to use toilet paper to get cope with the flow ( bit like thick wee really) and not that horrible grown up packet stuff for adults.

Maybe she needs a bit of help coming to terms with her changing body. Just because she has been educated about the process doesn't necessarily make it easy.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Wed 20-Apr-11 17:02:38

Poor thing, sounds like she's really not emotionally ready for this is she struggling with other aspects of puberty too? Bras, body hair etc? My DSD is really hating it - she often won't use anything when she's on.

I don't know anything about them personally but I've heard of washable sanitary towels - they are becoming fashionable again! I guess they might feel a bit more comfy, because they are material rather than that weird artificial stuff.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Wed 20-Apr-11 17:03:38

FWIW I didn't manage with tampons until after I'd lost my virginity - so they aren't necessarily the answer anyway.

schooltripworry Wed 20-Apr-11 17:03:42

Maybe she is worried about the process of disposing of them? Seems to want to be able to flush the paper away. Tampons should be fine for 15 yo. Can flush those if she really has to.

Is her skin reacting to the towels possibly? I have long and heavy periods and after a few days of wearing towels certain <ahem> areas get a bit irritated and start to itch....

I honestly can't think how shoving a wad of loo paper in your knickers could possibly be more comfortable than a towel. There's got to be more to it.

Teaandcakeplease Wed 20-Apr-11 17:12:40

I used tampax slender when my periods first began but I always needed a towel beneath as well. My mum bought me some awful ones to begin with. I settled on Always with wings. I'd also keep poppins bags in my school bag to tuck things in and to bin descreetly when no one was looking. As in those days the school toilets only had one sanitary bin out by the basins and I hated everyone seeing me dispose of things and tried to do it when no one was about <shudders at the memory>

Are you the cool Aunty? Could you try and chat with her about it in a roundabout way? Or would she be horrified if you tried?

Abr1de Wed 20-Apr-11 17:13:39

Please don't tell her to flush tampons away! The water companies are always warning against this.

notcitrus Wed 20-Apr-11 17:18:22

Could she be picking up on her mum thinking she is 'too young' for tampons etc and trying to act like she is too young for 'real' periods? Or has anyone teased her about visible towels - in which case liners with or without tampons might reassure her.

It's possible she's allergic to stuff they make towels out of but probably not - has she tried different ones?

This happened a few times when I was at boarding school so it must be reasonably common.

expatinscotland Wed 20-Apr-11 17:18:44

I used tampons at 11. I had to try different ones, but they'll work.

I can't abide towels, they all irritate my skin.

hk78 Wed 20-Apr-11 17:20:31

schooltripworry Wed 20-Apr-11 17:03:42
Maybe she is worried about the process of disposing of them? Seems to want to be able to flush the paper away. Tampons should be fine for 15 yo. Can flush those if she really has to.

yes, it might be that she feels cringey and embarassed, i used to (used tampons in the end and never looked back).
an idea might be to offer nappy sacks to conceal them/cancel out any possibility of smell?

and make sure bathroom bin has a lid so she doesn't feel like everyone can see?

I know it's nothing to be ashamed of, but just thinking of ways of helping her get used to it.

Abr1de Wed 20-Apr-11 17:22:08
EvenLessNarkyPuffin Wed 20-Apr-11 17:23:23

Interesting first post. Assuming you are genuine, tampons. How can 15 be too young for them?

BluddyMoFo Wed 20-Apr-11 17:25:55

Why is 15 too young to use tampons?

CointreauVersial Wed 20-Apr-11 17:31:15

Like many people I never ever used towels, ghastly things; I used tampons right from Day 1, and assumed everyone else did too.

But apparently, there is an "opinion" on MN that teenagers are "too young" for tampons and should start with towels, something I find really odd.

I really think your sis should suggest tampons - the really slim ones with applicators are easy to use. But it needs to come from her mum in the first instance, not aunty.

pink4ever Wed 20-Apr-11 17:31:31

Ok I am going to admit that I did thisblush. Started mine at age 12 and knew all about them beforehand(my mum was very frank about such stuff). However I was still really embarassed to talk about it and ask my mum to buy me towels(I lived with my gps too so doubly embarassing if had to ask them) so I also just used toilet roll(like your dd I also hid soiled under wear). Looking back alot of it was to do with emotional issues I had at the time(very bad relationship with mothers partner,my mum being pregnant with youngest sibling). I would suggest that there is something similiar going on with your niece. Please please do not ask her about this(I was mortified when my nan upon finding soiled knickers proceeded to tell my mum,aunt and uncle!). Perhaps just offer to take her out for a nice day out and see if she confides anything to you?.

BluddyMoFo Wed 20-Apr-11 17:34:38

Well I''ll actively encourage my lass to use tampons when it comes to it!

Sarsaparilllla Wed 20-Apr-11 17:36:35

If she's going to suggest tampons, advise her to have a nice relaxing hot bath beofre she tries for the first time and she'll find it much easier

15 isn't too young for tampons, as soon as you've started period you're 'ready' for tampons if you feel comfortable with them. I started my periods when I was 11 and used tampons from when I was about 13

TallulahBetty Wed 20-Apr-11 17:39:41

Surely it is not up to your sister to think that her daughter is too young for tampons. If she is having periods, she has the right to be aware of all the options and use whichever she chooses.

Jojay Wed 20-Apr-11 17:41:45

I used tampons form a very early age as I was really into horseriding and riding with towels is a complete no no - really uncomfortable and not a good look under jodhpurs.

i used applicator tampons to begin with and I don't remember finding it difficult, 'cos they kind of put it in the right place.

Perhaps your sis could make these available to her.

Or would a discreet chat with a friend's Mum to find out what her friend's use, work? They would have to be sworn to secrecy, but some of the brands that her friends use magically appearing in the bathroom cupboard might encourage her to have a go.

Pancakeflipper Wed 20-Apr-11 17:43:30

Pink4ever. I was similiar. I had a distant relationship with my mother. D
She never mentioned the word periods to me. She would put a carrier bag ( for soiled pads) and the worst brick like pads in the world. When blood got them - I would lock myself in the bathroom and wash my knickers at the sink then hide them in the airing cupboard. I was 15 when I started so quite late and I hated it all. My mother refused to buy me tampons after I built up courage to ask.

I used my pocket money until she relented cos my lovely Aunt who got me my training bras spotted me red faced at the local chemist buying tampons. I think she told my mother cos the following week the drawer had pads and tampons. Hindsight - I should have just gone to my Aunt.

Please tell your sister to buy some mini tampax and mini lillets so your niece can try the different types.

Message withdrawn

wfrances Wed 20-Apr-11 17:50:54

my dd is 14 and i wont buy her tampax yet,i worry that she would forget to change them and get blood poisoning or a nasty infection.

Pancakeflipper Wed 20-Apr-11 17:55:34

Talk to her, tell her why she has to change them regulary if SHE WANTS to use them. Why would you not trust her if she's given the info?

Let her have the choice. Especially if she's sporty.

TheVisitor Wed 20-Apr-11 18:01:14

Yes, tampons definitely! I've bought some for my 12 year old daughter ready for when she starts her periods. It's up to them if they want to use tampons. I always bloody hated towels, especially as a kid. Nothing worse for a teenage girl to think that everyone can tell that she's wearing a towel.

sunchild77 Wed 20-Apr-11 18:19:34

Like some of the others on here I was also in denial about periods for a long time. I was 11 when I started them, and I think I thought that if I forgot about it, that it would go away
I also had a useless mum who tried to be cool about it, but actually made my embarassment a lot worse

I wish she could have just had a selection of sanitary stuff, pads and tampons in the bathroom cupboard that I could have tried. Id have been so much happier sooner, she didnt have to show me what to do, I could have investigated them myself.

AND what about trust and letting her grow up? wfrances ? ANYONE can get toxic shock - not just teenagers.... I so hate to hear of teenagers who are "not allowed tampons"

TallulahBetty Wed 20-Apr-11 18:29:11

Hear hear, Sunchild. Her period, her choice. Who is to say who is "too young" for tampons? What is this based on? I started periods when I was 10, which was pretty early then but not so uncommon now. I used tampons from about 12 (I think) and I am lucky to have had such an open relationship with my mum that it was not a taboo subject.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Wed 20-Apr-11 18:33:16

I did this the first day of my first period as was embrassed to tell mum. Only told her the next day when it was still coming out blush

I did buy some tampons long before my my suggested them. Agree that might be the best way.

mercibucket Wed 20-Apr-11 18:33:47

washable pads would be more comfy than disposable pads cos they have the same linings as normal knickers - you can get cotton lined for example.

BertieBotts Wed 20-Apr-11 18:37:27

I hate all disposable pads - especially at this time of year. They are sweaty, every time the blood gushes out you can feel a horrible warm creeping feeling as the gel absorbs it away from the central part of the pad. They give me "chef's arse" - when the skin in that area chafes because it can't breathe or dry out, and they absorb far more than the blood, but all the natural secretions as well. Oh and your pubes get all matted up and disgusting and you want to have a shower every half hour.

These are slightly better than any other disposable towel for these issues - you can buy them in Boots. But still not great.

Tampons are better, but I couldn't use them at fifteen. Not saying nobody should, just acknowledging some teens find it difficult. And I hate not knowing if it needs changing, and the horrible feeling when you pull one out.

Next best option is washable towels - these are fantastic, as comfortable as using toilet paper (which I have used on occasion when the plastic-backed towels got too much). Your sister (or niece) will have to be on board with washing them though and not go on about how disgusting they are etc. But they avoid all the issues I mentioned above about towels, except the pubes issue, the only way to avoid that is shave or use internal protection.

Then best of all is a mooncup, but again I wouldn't have coped as a teen. It's another option to make her aware of though.

Bonsoir Wed 20-Apr-11 18:43:28

I used tampons from my very first period with no problems at all.

expatinscotland Wed 20-Apr-11 18:45:10

I also used them from the first, age 11. I was way into ballet and all the girls were using them. Other girls would pass you spares and coach you if you needed it whilst you were locked in the stall in the loo.

Disposable towels are dreadful for the environment, too.


BlooferLady Wed 20-Apr-11 18:46:38

i used tampons from when I first started, which was at primary school so I would've been at least 11 and possibly 10. My mum was so sanguine (no pun intended) about the whole thing that using tampax didn't seem anything in the least odd, though now I think about it that was pretty odd! I was offered towels but loathed from the start as i hated the feeling of carrying stale blood around and was convinced everyone could see it.

Hope they work this out. I guess it's all about as much choice and as much information as possible.

nickelbaalamb Thu 21-Apr-11 11:26:10

why do all towels have wings these days? (looking at your link, Bertie)
I hate the wings - I can't move the towel around once it's in place, which means I'm uncomfortable for hours!
and the wing sticky always sticks in the wrong place!

differentnameforthis Thu 21-Apr-11 14:38:26

My mum never let me use tampons when I first started (13). Apparently they 'weren't for young girls'! In reality, she was just scared of what she didn't know!

I bought some after using bulky huge towels for my first few periods & never looked back! After a few months, I was really sick one night, hot, nauseous, shaking, really flu like symptoms. I think I may have had TSS. So I took the tampon out & never wore them over night again! So it is important that she knows about this!

Since having dcs, I can't use them! I now use re usable towels.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-11 17:48:38

'I was really sick one night, hot, nauseous, shaking, really flu like symptoms. I think I may have had TSS. '

Or you might have had any number of viruses known and unknown to the human population.

TSS is still very rare.

crystalglasses Thu 21-Apr-11 17:54:37

My dd1 also had some bizarre habits - she would use pads but then leave them lying around her room, or in her chest of drawers. Her room stank. She refused to discuss the matter and i think she was in a state of denial.

I've heard that losts of young teenagers behave strangely when they have their period. My dd1 finally started to attend to her personal hygiene when she was about 19 years old - so the OP may be in for a long haul.

HerRoyalHighnessPrincessCervix Thu 21-Apr-11 17:55:20

you'd have know if you had had toxic shck syndrome. the multi organ failure may have put you out of action for a bit.

tvoffnowplease Thu 21-Apr-11 17:56:01

I can't see why people think teenagers are too young for tampons. My DSD asked me for some when she was 11 (period at 10.5) and I showed her how to use them (not literally... instructed from behind the bathroom door) her mum freaked out and said I was 'sick' for encouraging such a thing...
I hate when she wears towels, because she's still qite childish she will swing her legs about in skirts and shorts and it's always so visable. She also has a heavy flow and it often leaks or the pad shows through leggins.. poor things. Tampon all the way.

davidtennantsmistress Thu 21-Apr-11 17:59:24

would it help - in our school we were provided with applicator tampons - perhaps this might be an easier thing for DN to use (i'm 29 and althou i've used tampons since I was about 14 I HATE ones without applicators and infact will only ever use those ones. (also found that with the non applicators I wasn't always putting them in far enough blush you can get mini ones)

I never used towels, agree they are disgusting. Tampons from the start then mooncup last ten years.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-11 18:04:25

It's a very backwards and outdated idea, that the human vagina is 'too young' for a tampon, especially a 15-year-old.

I knew a lot of girls that age who were no longer virgins.

ohanotherone Thu 21-Apr-11 18:07:40

Why on earth can't she use tampons. I did from day one!

suzikettles Thu 21-Apr-11 18:07:42

I used tampons from my third or fourth period at 14 and was far, far more comfortable with the whole thing using them. I've used a mooncup for the last 5 years and wish I'd known about them from the start.

The poor thing using toilet paper. I've sometimes had to resort to that if I come on unexpectedly and it's sooo uncomfortable. Tbh, the fact that she's complaining that towels are uncomfy yet putting up with loo roll suggests to me that there's something more to it.

I'd suggest that your sister equip her with a wide variety of sanpro to try, from applicator tampons to cloth sanitary towels and let her get on with it in privacy. If she won't use any of them then it could well be a resistence to puberty, and then I don't know what you do.

strawberrymewmew Thu 21-Apr-11 18:18:09

I also have to admit that I done this too, but it really was because I found them really uncomfortable due to the length. I also always thought everyone could tell I was wearing one, so I also just folded up toilet paper and had the same knicker problems. (Apologies about TMI)
In the end I tried tampons once, I was 11 at the time and that put a stop to the loo roll.
I think all the comments about not feeling like she is emotionally ready are looking into it a little too much. Chances are she does just hate the feeling/size of them.

My first thought on reading the op is that she is uncomfortable disposing of them, and not necessarily wearing them.

strawberrymewmew Thu 21-Apr-11 18:26:54

That was also one of my problems. I absaloutly hated the idea that someone might see them.

You cant flush tampons shock

I always chuck the lot down the pan, wrapper, tube, and used tampon. Thought this was the 'done thing'


strawberrymewmew Thu 21-Apr-11 18:30:12

^^ I thought the same. Main reason I've always liked tampons.

Abr1de Thu 21-Apr-11 18:34:10

No you can't flush them. Please don't do it.

Last summer a lovely swim off a Scottish beach was spoiled by suddenly spotting a tampon swimming with me. The water companies can't cope with them.

Of course you can't! I'm amazed that anyone these days still thinks it's ok to do that shock

Although DD is only 3, I have a niece of 8 and it's interesting reading. I'm making a mental note to put together a bag of all the available options in the bathroom cupboard when the time comes.

strawberrymewmew Thu 21-Apr-11 18:38:39

Guess after my dc is born I will be buying a moon cup then! I guess I never really thought about it before.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 21-Apr-11 18:42:07

I agree it sounds like she has issues with disposing of them. We never had a bin in our bathroom at home. When I was a teenager I felt so embarrased about disposing of towels. I used to wrap them and then had to put them in the kitchen bin. Yuk. I'm sure my step dad and brother never noticed but still....I still haven't figured out what my mum used to do. I have a bin in my bathroom now, with a lid. Surely this is the norm?

So, I would say, make sure there is a bin, with a lid next to the loo, and prehaps have little bags to put tampons/towels in.

Abr1de Thu 21-Apr-11 18:45:55

Mooncups do save a lot of hassle and expense. And you never run out.

TBH, I don't find mine as completely wonderful as some people do, in terms of not leaking. But I do have very heavy periods, being, sob, of that age. And tampons were worse.

I have saved ££££.

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 21-Apr-11 18:52:48

Message withdrawn

This idea that tampons aren't for young girls is silly, what if there were teenage girls that did swimming in a team or something and swam every week? She couldn't use towels then could she!?!

Also, WTF is a mooncup? confused

strawberrymewmew Thu 21-Apr-11 19:16:27

I don't think taking her to the Dr is a good idea. She's obviously very embarrased or she wouldn't be hiding her pants. I do really think she just doesn't like pads and is embarrased.
Try and get her to try tampons, it can only be better than tissue paper, and she will probably love how clean she will feel using them.

Would a bin in her bedroom help? I know it's not ideal but she might feel better about disposing of them in there rather than the communal bathroom bin. As long as it's emptied regularly it would be a step in the right direction.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Thu 21-Apr-11 23:52:02

Hope nobody minds me hijacking - bit of an odd situation here.

My DSD has her own washbag at our house, I never look in it normally but I was putting her toothbrush back today and there was a pair of knickers in it (normally they just throw their dirty stuff onto the laundry mountain pile as requested. She'd obviously come on unexpectedly and rinsed them out and put them straight in her bag, they were going mouldy

I'm not sure how to approach this. I'm not angry at all, I get caught out every sodding month a lot and I know she's finding this SO difficult, poor thing. She's just 13 and young for her age. I leave STs out and told her ages ago she could just use what she wants without asking, but I don't think she does.

WWYD? I want to tell her next time to just rinse them and leave them over the bath (that's what I do) - no reason to be embarrassed, and DH never bats an eyelid, but she is mortified if I even mention periods.

NonnoMum Fri 22-Apr-11 00:03:47

I think she might need a referral to CAMHs. Very odd.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Fri 22-Apr-11 01:58:25

Friedegg, teach her how to use the washing machine 'if she needs something doing and you're not around'. And make sure she always has access to clean pants at your place- buy a multipack of dark coloured ones from Primark that won't show stains and leave them in her room. Leave her some sanitary products in her room too. The idea of rinsing out my pants and leaving them over the bath would make me blush now. As a teen, the thought of other people seeing them would make me combust. Even using your stuff might make her feel like she's being supervised. Just leave her the stuff she needs, in 13 year old friendly sizes, and make sure she had a lidded bin and nappy sack things with the sanitary stuff, so they can disappear without a trace.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Fri 22-Apr-11 01:59:33

You can do all that without ever actually saying the word 'period' to her.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Fri 22-Apr-11 07:55:21

Unfortunately she doesn't have her own bedroom (we only have a tiny 2 bed place). She's got her own undies etc in our room which she takes as needed. And the STs are specifically for her, I use a different brand/size and tampons.

I know when it happened as she asked for clean knickers at about 5pm when normally it'd be when changing into PJs, and there was blood on the bath/flannel so she'd obviously tried to clean herself up. (obviously I didn't mention it to her, just wiped it up) - she's very awkward/clumsy which I think may be part of the problem?

I was really lucky, my mum was so open about all this stuff and when I first started my period I was excited, I felt so grown up. But in her family it's all hushed under the carpet and seen as something dirty. I can't do anything about that what if she feels like this forever?

MickyLee Fri 22-Apr-11 08:10:31

I had completely forgotten about the issues I had until I read this thread.

I was 12 when my periods started and we were living with my nan at the time. She didn't have a bin in her bathroom. I was given pads but no one told me what to do with them afterwards. I was far to embarrassed to ask.

One day after school my mum caught up with me for a chat. She said she could smell something in my wardrobe and found a plastic bag full of used pads in there! I wanted the ground to swollow me up!

Maybe she doesn't know what to do with them afterwards so embarrassed to dispose of them and anyone emptying the bins will see them.

Mooncup would be a great solution in this case maybe.

I remember staying at my grandmother's for a fortnight when i was about 14 and not knowing what to do with the used pads. So I put them in a carrier bag in my room. Luckily my period ended while I was there and so I tied the bag up tightly with several layers but it was only when I got home that I remembered I had left it behind. I had meant to take it home but forgot and my aunt would have found it when she was changing the bedding. She never mentioned it but my face burned for years when I thought of it.

nickelbaalamb Fri 22-Apr-11 11:02:12

FriedEgg - does she share her room with you, or with another sibling?

She really should have her own drawer or box in the room in which she sleeps (if it's in the lounge, then that drawer or box should be in the bathroom). It wouldn't help her confidence always having to go into your room to getstuff. It would embarrass the hell out of me now as an adult!

The bathroom bin point is very good too - my Ex's parents didn't have a bathroom bin (mum had gone through the change) and I would have to take my tampons down to the kitchen bin in toilet paper.
It was like a military operation, i'd screw it up into my palm and hover until the kitchen was clear. I couldn't put it in the bin while there was someone in the kitchen.
Once I needed to do it when the bin was being changed (so there was no bag in it) and I thought I would die of embarrassment, because I had to hold onto it for longer! and when the bin's full, too! what do you do? throw it in on top of the pile of rubbish so everyone can see it??
Bathroom bin with lid and spare nappy bags available is the way to go.

nickelbaalamb Fri 22-Apr-11 11:03:15

"I know when it happened as she asked for clean knickers at about 5pm when normally it'd be when changing into PJs, " it's that bit in your post that must have been mortifying. If she has access to her own clothes at any time, she wouldn't have had to ask.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Fri 22-Apr-11 13:07:18

Yes. I was shock at a 13 year old having to ask for clean knickers.

Can I just ask again, WHAT is a mooncup???

nickelbaalamb Fri 22-Apr-11 15:35:58

Ewwwww this bit is gross!!!
"It also means I can save the blood for my plants and my paintings."
Why on earth would you want to do that??? confused

nickelbaalamb Fri 22-Apr-11 16:01:34

not for paintings, but blood is very good for vegetables lots of gardeners use Blood, fish and Bone on their garden as fertilizer (it's normally animals') but this way, even a vaggie can do it! grin


WOW!! Even the BISCUIT has ears! biscuit

littlepigshavebigears Fri 22-Apr-11 16:05:40

lol at "vaggie" grin

deemented Fri 22-Apr-11 16:09:02

I too think she may be embarressed about what to do with the used pads afterwards.

Wilkinsons do some purple 'pop ins' they're called, and they have a lavender scent so hide any nasty smells. Give her a pack or two of them and a lidded bun for her bedroom.

nickelbaalamb Fri 22-Apr-11 16:09:05

I meant veggie! blushblush

Yeah right nickel

FriedEggyAndSlippery Fri 22-Apr-11 22:23:16

Erm, at what point did I say she has to ask? hmm I said she can take them when she wants to.

She usually asks me because she can't be arsed to get them herself

NorthernGobshite Fri 22-Apr-11 22:41:45

I never understand why anyone would use towels or buy them for dd. I used tampons as soon as I began menstruating at 14. My Mum had already been open about them, shown me them etc and I will be doing same for my dd.

erm, because not everyone likes tampons?

FriedEggyAndSlippery Fri 22-Apr-11 22:49:59

I couldn't use them when I first started at 12. They just hurt and wouldn't go in.

Didn't use them until I had lost my virginity.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Fri 22-Apr-11 22:57:24

BTW I do realise that our bedroom is not the ideal place for keeping their stuff, but that is where they (DSD is a twin) asked us to keep them - they chose a little storage thing for it.

It was that or the living room, the bathroom is absolutely tiny. Believe me if we could afford a place where they could have their own room, we would have moved there by now

They really don't mind this - I'm sure she would be embarrassed to ask for STs, which is why she's got very easy access to it all, but asking for/fetching clean undies (or any other clothes) just isn't an issue for them. It's 2 separate things.

bellavita Fri 22-Apr-11 23:07:17

I was just 11 when I started my periods (I am 46 next b/day), my mum gave me some god awful huge towels that were like boats and a belt. I felt so self concious. She finally succumbed to letting me have tampons when I was about 14.

I have boys, but if I did have a girl - I certainly would let it be her choice from the start.

I also recommend those "poppins" to dispose of the towels/tampons.

Your poor niece.

bleedingstill Fri 22-Apr-11 23:07:56

I don't blame her for wanting to use loo roll. Ideal medium for absorbing menstrual blood - and constantly available.

The only real problem is a plumbing one . Get her a lidded bun for the loo and teach her how to use the washing machine

boosmummie Fri 22-Apr-11 23:19:21

My two older DDs started their periods at 11 and 12 and both used tampons immediately. I had my first period with towels (11.5) and that was enough for me - straight on to tampons, almost 30 years ago.

I feel for your niece. HOpe something can be sorted that works for her soonest.

ravenAK Fri 22-Apr-11 23:25:55

I actually quite often use loo roll. Mostly I use old cut up towels, but if I'm in the wrong bathroom when I notice I've come on, then I'll absentmindedly shove a pad of loo roll into my knickers.

I can't abide the chemical, sickly smell of STs - & I remember it really making me boak as a teenager, so this might be an issue for your dn?

(I do use tampons if I'm at work, say - it's if I'm pottering about at home that I just use washable towelling).

bleedingstill Fri 22-Apr-11 23:49:27

raven I use loo roll when not organised with tampons.
I find sanitary towels a bit YUK as lo rolls are just as effective end more convenient

FriedEggyAndSlippery Fri 22-Apr-11 23:57:05

I seem to remember learning about tampons in school and hearing that whether they hurt depended on if the hymen was broken, which could happen naturally early, or it might (as I'm guessing mine did) remain intact until you have sex.

For some reason horseriding comes to mind as something that can cause it to break due to the position you sit in, but goodness knows if that's true blush

FriedEggyAndSlippery Fri 22-Apr-11 23:58:13

Sorry my point was, tampons aren't necessarily the answer because if she's still intact they could really hurt (worth a try obviously)

pooka Sat 23-Apr-11 00:03:02

I also used tampons from first period at 11/12. Loathed ( and still do ) the feeling of towels.

A1980 Sat 23-Apr-11 00:09:46

There might be more going on here than just saying they're uncomfortable.

If she's hiding her underwear it suggests she doesnt want people to know she has a period. Toilet paper is not more comfortable, it breaks down, rips easily and sticks to you body. it also itches.

I know this becasue it's exactly what I used to do when I had my periods. My older sister had anorexia and she didn't get periods until she was 17. I got them at 12. I was the dirtiest most disgusting thing on this earth when i got them. She taunted and teased me mercillesly. She used to pick the bathroom lock while I was in there and come and laugh at me. She called me a dirty bitch, said she didn't want to be near the "dirty period bum" when I had it. She told me i left the bathroom smelling disgusting. This went on for years. I lived in fear of getting it and tried to hide. My mother kept finding out and this resulted in both of them shouting at me at how stupid i was for not using towels and hiding it with my sister shouting the loudest at me. My mtoher was aware but did nothing about her behaviour becasue she was so stressed about her anorexia. All was off the radar including me and my brother for that fucking bitch of a sister of mine.

I had hang ups for YEARS about it. Took me a long time to realsie that it is normal and nothing to be ashamed of. I hate my sisters guts for that and 15 years later I have not forgiven her. Mainly becasue as soon as she got hers at 17, that was fine.

I'd see if soemthing else is up. Why is she hiding it?

bleedingstill Sat 23-Apr-11 00:46:39

A1980 you just made an overgrown woman cry. I want to give you a cuddle. You poor baby, that is just awful

FriedEggyAndSlippery Sat 23-Apr-11 00:50:41

Jeez A1980 that is absolutely awful. I'm so sorry you went through that x

A1980 Sat 23-Apr-11 01:00:51

Aw. Thank you for your kind messages.

I'm ok now. But it was literally one of the most miserable times of my life. But when she got hers at 17 that was fine. She was happy to talk about it and she was able to get used ot it in a normal setting.

At the time I wished she would die of her anorexia. A bit extreme but I was a child under enormous strain.

mathanxiety Sat 23-Apr-11 01:20:05

A1980 I agree that there is more to this than meets the eye (and how horrible for you).

Maybe the mother is hung up on the sexual maturity aspect of menstruation. It seems to me that she is in denial here and hasn't given the DD 'permission' to grow up and become a woman. Her belief that 15 is too young for tampons signals a problem accepting that her baby is now growing up rapidly, imo.

A DD needs to have the support of her mum in getting on with her life and dealing with menarche. She needs autonomy to choose what she wants for her own body during her period, and she needs to know that she can articulate her needs wrt menstruation. This DD seems struck dumb and unwilling to even mention the subject. There is something seriously amiss in the mother daughter relationship here but the primary problem lies in the way the mother views the female body, sexual maturity and menstruation. imo.

ravenAK Sat 23-Apr-11 01:43:53

A1980, that's grim sad.

Wrt OP - maybe the niece does actually find loo roll pleasanter, though. If I were her mum, I think I'd provide tampons (as OP says she's already tried various brands of towel), & then just say: 'OK, use whatever you like - it's your period. But PLEASE bag up anything that needs binning, & chuck it in the outside bin, OK? & if you've got pants that need washing, just put a wash on.'

Your average modern washer will cope admirably with the occasional pair of stained knickers, & so long as nothing's festering in the bedroom, it's nobody's business but your 15 year old niece's.

If that doesn't work, OK, it's obviously more of an issue. But I'd definitely start by backing right off...

HowsTheSerenity Sat 23-Apr-11 02:27:16

I got my period at age nine and my mum tried to get me to wear pads but they just revolted me so I started wearing tampons secretly.

Maybe you could buy her a book as about periods etc.. EveryGirl was a good one. I had one called Period when I was younger.

My mum told me to take my stained undies into the shower with me and wash them out there (so no one could see) and then throw them straight into the washing machine ready for the next wash.

But I would make an appt for for her to see the nurse at the GP's. Might be easier to talk to a stranger.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Sat 23-Apr-11 17:15:20

I have followed advice on this thread and bought a new much nicer bin (pedal type) that will fit right next to the loo. We are going to have a sort out in there too, make it generally a bit nicer.

I don't think it'll solve everything in my DSD's case, the anxiety is deeper than just the actual STs, but maybe it'll make a bit of difference if it's not so cluttered.

I figured it'd also be a way of bringing it up without mentioning the stained knickers - I could show her the new nicer bathroom and where everything is/goes and gently remind her that nobody's going to be looking at what she is using, washing or throwing away.

I am still unsure what to suggest if it happens again though. There's no way she would bring them downstairs and stick a wash on because that would draw attention to it. So - rinse and leave them over the bath as I do, or just bung them straight in the laundry...?

deemented Sat 23-Apr-11 17:39:33

FriedEggy - wwhat about getting her a zippable wetbag to hang in the bathroom or to put in her bedroom? That way she can rinse her pants through and put them in there to then be put in a wash? You'd see if it needed emptying and it could be quite discreet?

FriedEggyAndSlippery Sat 23-Apr-11 18:57:21

Fab idea deemented thank you. Where do I get something like that please? Do you mean the bag itself goes straight in the wash without needing to open it? I've seen netting ones like that but that wouldn't help with the water dripping out.

It'd have to be hung in the bathroom though - as I said above, our house is tiny so my DSCs don't have their own room. We've agreed that when we move to a 3 bed we will still put our 2 in together and have the 3rd room as theirs. Won't be able to afford to move for a while though they are fine with things as they are though, they quite like the sofa bed (goodness knows why I hate the damn thing!)

SummerRain Sat 23-Apr-11 19:05:36

I've always hated towels too... they stick to my legs and bum, and sweat and smell horrible. (have to say though, I did use them.... the thought of only having a wad of tissue to protect me in school or work would have terrified me! But then I've always been heavy)

My mother bought me tampons when i was 13 and I used them until I had the dcs. Since the dcs they don't feel right though and I switched to the mooncup which is way better.

I certainly don't think 15 is too young for tampons.

deemented Sat 23-Apr-11 20:18:13

Well you can do either or, i suppose.

You could buy a nappy wetbag from somewhere such as Weenotions or The Nappy Garden, or a cheaper option and what i'd be inclined to do, is to buy a net bag, and put that inside a waterproof toiletry bag. Then she could put the pants inside the net bag and that could then be lifted out and put straight in the wash without the need for handling. You could also get a small toiletry bag if that's more convienient, and could be handy for her for school - i got one in wilkinsons for 79p and it has a waterproof layer in it - i can fit two nappies in it so it could be a good size for her, perhaps?

PenguinArmy Sat 23-Apr-11 20:23:27

I find most of them too horrible an plastic to wear. I now use the biodegradable ones that are from chlorine etc. From whole food/organic type shops.

mathanxiety Sat 23-Apr-11 20:23:49

How about some stain remover spray in the bathroom too, or tell her it's fine to just toss her stained knickers in the bin? She could keep a stash of new or clean knickers in the bathroom too.

Do you have some spare wall above the loo where you could hang a cabinet -- something from Ikea for instance, where all sorts of useful items could be kept?

friedeggs... i would tell her to just chuck them straight in the wash!

i have had frequent leaks as my periods tend to be quite heavy and i've never had a stain that hasn't come out in the wash tbh and i never rinse/soak them....

hellymelly Sat 23-Apr-11 21:38:54

I hate towels too,although I do use them,mainly because I have lightish periods and that dragging feeling when you have to pull out a tampon...ughhhhh.I find the organic ones less irritating -Natracare. I did sometimes use tissue as a teenager,mainly because I didn't talk to my Mum about anything,or she to me,and she didn't buy me any sanitary stuff so I had to sort it out myself. I tried tampons and failed,as the only small ones then were lillets and I couldn't get the hang of them-I was very happy when tampax brought out the slender ones as they were much easier to use.I also used to try and wash pants in secret and dry them on the radiator.I hope my dds don't feel like this.I would ahve felt better if my Mum and other older women /girls around me had been more open and straightforward,sometimes being too tentative about something can make it seem more of a big deal,also it is a confusing time emotionally,one minute you want to be a woman,the next you want to stay a girl,it is hard. I'd forgotten how hard until reading this thread.

BertieBotts Sat 23-Apr-11 22:32:39

Friedeggy, if she gets caught out a lot, would it be worth buying her some pantyliners which she can use for a few days before she comes on, or every day between periods if she wants to. Would it also be worth getting her a little diary with calendar in the front so she can mark the days of her periods on there and see whether a pattern is developing, to allow her to be more prepared? If you go onto the Always website they might have the little cardboard ones to order, that they put into the sanitary towel sample packs they give to the girls at school.

Although TBH I've never been good at tracking mine really. It's much easier when I'm on the pill and I know I'm about to come on because of where I am in the pack.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Sun 24-Apr-11 07:15:43

My mum got me to record mine from the start, and I still do (using an iPhone app) - I figured everyone did this!

But I don't think she's really talked to her mum about it so maybe the idea hasn't come up. I will suggest that, and the pantyliners idea (she does have some at our house but I don't think she's used them either)

I gave her one of those tins that came with bodyform packs, with a couple of STs and PLs in (and the same to her sister who hasn't started menstruating, so she didn't feel singled out) - bless her she keeps it in her school bag but she's never used anything from it I don't think. I'm imagining that if she came on at school she would be too embarrassed to go and sort it out

A1980 Sun 24-Apr-11 16:45:41

Re the soiled underwear point, the age old trick which I still use it to wear black underwear. Red and brown stains don't show up on black. Embarassment gone!

I only black pants when I'm due, during and for a few days after my period as if there is any leakage it wont show up. It saves ruining pants all the time at it stains pale coloured pants so badly.

KatieJ75 Fri 06-May-11 14:12:17

In our swimming club we certainly have 10-year olds using tampons with no trouble at all. A little KY jelly can be used if there is any difficulty, but at 15 that is not likely to be a problem.
I cannot imagine any 15-yr old not using tampons or a menstrual cup, which (cups) are becoming more popular.

suzi2 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:46:52

I hate the feeling of pads - that sweaty plasticky feeling. Eurgh. I'd make sure she's 100% comfortable with the ins and outs of periods - why it's happening, how to use towels, how to dispose of them - and make sure there's no embarrassment there. And if it's the towels that are the problem, then tell her about tampax. I started buying tampax in secret with my pocket money as my mum was against me using them (from a TSS point of view). Once she realised I was doing this, she was happy for me to use them. Teenagers are weird and periods make them weirder!

Emmielu Sun 22-Jan-12 19:54:21

I fully understand the towels. They are horrible. Very uncomfortable & for me they made me feel dirty or like I don't wash down there properly. I remember going through hundreds of them purely cause once I felt like they were getting too clammy I used wet wipes then changed it again. It really was a hassle. I'd suggest tampons as most girls when I was a teen (I'm now 20) used tampons.

tb Sat 05-May-12 04:51:21

DD started her periods when she was 12, and is now 14. She is a weekly boarder at school.

Way before they started she had a couple of packs of towels of various types, and there were loads of tampons around anyway.

For quite a while she seemed to find her periods hard to deal with and would come home at weekends with blood-soaked knickers with the sodden st still in place. Used to be torn between wanting to give her a cuddle or a bollocking over her lack of respect for (normally) dh who sorts out the washing.

For about the last 6-9 months this problem has gone away, and she seems to have very few 'accidents'.

Perhaps, it's just a question of her 'growing in' to her periods. DD was really keen to have them, and is now green with envy because I don't any more - even though she doesn't want to have hot flushes either. grin

castle251 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:30:32

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exexpat Mon 15-Oct-12 11:33:58


(rather suspect last poster has resurrected it just to advertise period pants - will report)

Disappointedbuyer Mon 15-Oct-12 11:42:27

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skandi1 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:15:48

She is probably worried that everyone can see she is wearing one in vpl type way and it looks like it wriggles when she walks. (that is what is feels like).

She may also not know how to dispose of them and may be worried about how to get them into the toilet without other seeing.

Towels are don't exactly fit snugly into the palm of your hand and you will not be allowed to take your school bag out of class if you need a change during a double lesson.

I think tampons are a good idea. Or at least let her try out a few different brands and let her choose her own type of sanitary products.

I was forced by my mother to wear massive huge thick towels which you really could see through clothing and she was tightfisted and would only give me one extra for a whole day at school so
I would end up smelling too as well as soiling my clothing. Never really gotten over that. Every 28 days I was a laughing stock as school. sad. It was awful. I left home for uni at 18 and my first purchase (before even beer or fags) was tampons.

Let her choose. Give her the money to buy what she wants to use.

Butterflywgs Sat 29-Jun-13 02:05:01

I am almost tearing up that I wasn't alone in finding the whole period thing a bit weird as a young teen. I hadn't quite got the hang of knowing when I was about to come on and once left an embarrassing sofa stain because I had failed to realise, which my mother dearest told me off for and must have informed dad (separated) as products were VERY OBVIOUSLY placed next time I visited him. I was MORTIFIED. Mother did a lot of other emotionally abusive things.

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