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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.

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
Huh?

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

shock

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.

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