Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide

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.

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.

Yak.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now