Can I ask is dd 11 too young to use tampons?

(48 Posts)
cappucinogirl4 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:46:31

My dd is 11 and started her periods in the summer holidays last year.She uses regular bodyform towels but a friend suggested tampons.We went on holiday in october and her period started on the second to last day.Cue much hysteria as she couldn't go swimming.We are going abroad again in October and the only way around the swimming thing is to use tampons.
But is she too young? To be honest she is embarrassed about periods as it is without the suggestion of tampons! I reckon I was about 15 when I started using them.
I would be grateful if anyone could give some advice or let me know their experiences with their dd's.
I just feel she is too young!
Thanks

THERhubarb Thu 31-Jan-13 13:51:17

I would think she was too young as well.
I reckon if she tried them she'd find them very uncomfortable. To be honest I couldn't wear them until I started having sex as before then it felt really horrible trying to insert them and I could feel them all the time. It wasn't pleasant.

At 11 I think she will be tiny in that region. However aren't there any slimmer tampons on the market now aimed at teenagers? I would do your research and perhaps have a chat with her about what they are and how to use them.

She shouldn't be embarrassed about her periods, bless, they are a very natural part of life. If you tell her about yours and start to discuss them a little more without a hint of embarrassment then she might start to loosen up and may be happy to chat with you?

THERhubarb Thu 31-Jan-13 13:53:26

A-ha look! Tampons for Girls she might get on better with these.

Tommy Thu 31-Jan-13 13:54:44

I started wearing them after about 4 months of starting my periods (12) My mum was very anti me trying them but I sent off for a trial pack from Tampax or somewhere. I remember it being very helpful. I can't imagine why you wouldn't be happy for your DD to use them although my friend is the same with her DD so I guess I just don't know, not having and DDs...

brainonastick Thu 31-Jan-13 13:55:26

I used them years before I started having sex, it wasn't uncomfortable. Maybe it just depends how you're built blush. Only one way for her to find out...

perceptionreality Thu 31-Jan-13 13:56:00

I used tampons before I had sex - found it fine, but then I find smears painless so we are all different.

I would just buy some for her to try and see if they suit her - if they don't she could just leave it and go back to towels. Tampax are slimmer and easier to put in than say lillets ime.

dobby2001 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:56:48

Back in the old days when I started my periods (I was about 13/14) my sisters all had boxes of super plus tampax and I tried (and failed very undomfortably) to use those. I really wanted to not have to miss swimming at school or explain why I couldn't though, so instead i tried lilets minis - they were alot more comfortable and because i was not using an applicator, found it easier to gauge where to go, if that makes sense.

I later switched to tampax slender, which came out alot more confortably and if i remember rightly, were specifically design for young girls who were erm, still intact, so to speak smile They have probably rebranded those items now, but I remember the tampax were in a pink branded box.

The other alternative is a small size mooncup - i found mooncups to be brilliant but they are not to everyones liking.

cappucinogirl4 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:56:53

Thanks THERhubarb.Yes I've just ordered the teen pack - it looks quite good.Might be a way of broaching the subject!
I remember trying for ages to insert them and that was when I was 15 so you're probably right she is too young.That's my gut feeling anyway.

Tommy Thu 31-Jan-13 13:58:55

I seem to remember that I had to use KY jelly to out them in but nothing would persuade me to use towels. Unfortunately after 3 big babies, I'm back to towels again.... Roll on the menapause

cappucinogirl4 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:59:15

Thanks everyone for your thoughts smile

perceptionreality Thu 31-Jan-13 14:00:09

I have had 3 vaginal deliveries and cannot get the smallest mooncup (for women who haven't had children) into me, sadly. I would use these if I could.

titchy Thu 31-Jan-13 14:00:38

Well she can only try!

Dd's period started at the beginning of our summer holiday too, so I got some tampons (just bog standard ones - anyone know how to say Slimline tampons in Greek?! grin) and left her to it (we were on an excursion and had to decamp to a busy cafe so she could use the loo - so couldn't really explain in busy caffe! <<REad the instructions, but they're in greek!>>

She managed fine actually - took about 10 mins! (Took me an hour first time) blush

titchy Thu 31-Jan-13 14:02:03

Sorry - dd was 13.

whatyoulookinat Thu 31-Jan-13 14:03:07

I used them on my second period age 11 with no problems. Don't understand the comments about being too small to use them.

anklebitersmum Thu 31-Jan-13 14:06:10

I was an early starter at 11 too. Used tampax slim to start with, same as regular but a bit slimmer.

As long as she follows the instructions and doesn't stress out too much she'll be fine.

Madmog Thu 31-Jan-13 14:07:37

I think generally most Mums feel it's best to leave it a while before their girls try tampons so they have a clear idea of flow and know they are responsible enough to change them regularly. As your concerned about an occasional one off, you could buy her a pack of mini tampons. You could suggest she tries them a few times during the first couple of days of her periods, and if she can get them right, then she could use them just for swimming.

FortyFacedFuckers Thu 31-Jan-13 14:10:51

I started my period on holiday at 11 and my mum bought me some of the little mini tampons and I was fine with them. I would let her try them if she wants to.

CailinDana Thu 31-Jan-13 14:12:57

I'm a bit baffled as to why people are saying she'll be "too small." It's not as if her vagina is going to get much bigger in the next couple of years! Physically she's close to being able to bear children (though her pelvis will be too small) and vaginal tissue is stretchy anyway so even at 11 she should be fine. The only problem could be her hymen but once that's broken it's not an issue any more and anyway tampons won't necessarily break it.

THERhubarb Thu 31-Jan-13 14:45:00

I think it depends on the child and the tampon. They do make tampons suitable for younger girls now so it could be that I was just trying to use super plus tampons that were difficult for me to use.

The issue I had was that it was just uncomfortable and felt really tight. I wasn't used to <ahem> sticking things up there. I felt a bit frightened and that made me even more tense. Once you are a bit older and are more experienced, it becomes a lot easier.

cappucinogirl4 Thu 31-Jan-13 17:08:54

Thanks for everyones input.My mum died when I was 12 and I feel I have no experience with mother/daughter relationships.It's really hard!
I've ordered the lillets teenpack so when that comes I can have a chat with dd and take it from there.
Thanks everyone smile

QOD Thu 31-Jan-13 17:11:07

Be prepared for her to point blank refuse. My dd cannot believe you have to put them inside, she's horrified.

She has twice taken hormones to delay periods, lots of people don't agree with that though, each to their own!

Startail Thu 31-Jan-13 17:20:02

DD has used tampons from her 3rd period she was 12. She started with the slender applicator tampax, but they leak.

She just nicks my regular non applicator ones (which ever makes on offer). She uses towels for insurance at school. I don't bother because I'm on the mini pill and my periods are stupidly light.

DD was a bit nervous because her periods were very uncomfortable at first and everything hurt. I'm afraid I was pretty brisk with her and told her not to be daft. She loves swimming and I know her well enough to know that she's a very practical soul. She got the idea in about 5 minutes.

ripsishere Fri 01-Feb-13 02:29:12

My 11.8 YO, who is desperate to start confused will only be using tampons. She has told me this in no uncertain terms.
FX that she can. She swims daily.

brighthair Fri 01-Feb-13 02:36:34

On the flip side I can't use tampons but can use a mooncup (after a few practice runs!) with no problem

I'm not sure whether I have some kind of weird anatomy but I bleed down the side of tampons and so leak within 30 minutes

THERhubarb Fri 01-Feb-13 10:19:26

Sorry to hear that cappucino.

My mum is still very much alive but we didn't really have a mother-daughter relationship either and I was very much like the film Carrie when I started mine.

My advice is to always be open and honest. My dd knows all about my periods. She has seen me change my pads from being very young. They learn shame, they are not born with it and so I've never taught them to feel ashamed or embarrassed of their own bodies. That can be hard when you have learnt shame yourself, but when they fling open the bathroom door as I'm changing my pad and then carry on as if nothing unusual is happening, you soon get used to it!

Because dd has always known about my periods, she's asked lots of questions about whether or not it hurts, how long it lasts, why it happens, etc. However you can get a book about all of this and that might be a good idea if you feel uncomfortable talking to her about it.

I would start off by showing her what you use and telling her a bit about your own periods. You can share your teenage experiences with her - have a laugh about it to break the ice. I'm sure you must have a funny story to tell her. Mine was about a girl at school who put her pad sticky side up as she thought it had to stick to your vagina rather than your knickers!

Show her the lillets website and ask if she'd like to try them for when she is swimming. Tell her how you felt about them when you were a teen. You can also show her the mooncup - her first reaction will probably be one of horror and she'll be grossed out by it, but then again you can have a laugh with her about it and joke about how on earth women manage to get it up there. She might dismiss the idea straight away but you will have piqued her curiosity and hopefully by having a laugh with her and a friendly chat, she'll be more relaxed about opening up to you in the future.

HTH smile

Jiddle Sat 02-Feb-13 07:23:59

When I started my periods I was 12 and we lived in a tropical country where basically the only activity in school holidays was the beach. As soon as I started my period I used tampons. My mm got me the smallest size Tampax, explained how to use them, gave me a pot of Vaseline and told me to use the Vaseline to lubricate the rounded tip.

I remember doing this very clearly. I also used to put one foot up on the toilet lid, which helped it go in.

Sorry if TMI but I found this really helpful at the time and I was pleased my mum just told me what to do and let me get on with it on my own. I did spend quite a long time in the bathroom doing it but it meant o could go swimming.

seeker Sat 02-Feb-13 07:29:42

I don't really understand why people are saying she's too young- why?

Get her a selection and let her try. Applicator ones are better for getting them in th right place- I suspect the people who say they can feel them haven't put them in far enough.

MrsDimples Sat 02-Feb-13 07:32:09

I used them on my first period at 12 confused

Notmyidea Sat 02-Feb-13 09:56:13

Same here Mrs Dimples. I know my mum was uncomfortable with the idea but I found the idea of towels hideous.

I used tampons from my first period (at 13) as I tried a towel and hated the feeling of walking around with the blood pressed against me. Gross, I know, and probably in my head! I had no problems with tampons at all but I had friends who didn't use them till they were older. Suggest she gives them a go and if she doesn't like them, go back to towels smile

pooka Sat 02-Feb-13 10:06:37

I never used towels until after I had the dcs.

Started periods at about 11 and used the smallest tampax (mini I think) right from day one.

Fairylea Sat 02-Feb-13 10:15:43

I used them from 11.

To be honest the most important thing is whether she understands the importance of changing them regularly to help avoid toxic shock syndrome. Do you think she is responsibile enough?

pooka Sat 02-Feb-13 10:24:56

As a parent you can remind her when she's at home to change every 4-6 hours. At school, maybe she could still use towels if you are concerned about TSS and not convinced she would change often enough. But I often have a tampon in overnight and that's not dissimilar to a school day.

Only I use a mooncup now.

notcitrus Sat 02-Feb-13 10:49:42

She's not too young if she wants to give it a try. Trying on the heaviest days and with a bit of lubricant should make it easier.

But being pressurised to use them so she can swim is as bad as saying she shouldn't use them (not saying anyone's doing that here, but I've known it to happen)

seeker Sat 02-Feb-13 11:29:04

Is the "too young" linked to old fashioned ideas about using tampons meaning losing your virginity? I know there were people when I was young who thought that- is it possible that people's uneasiness is an echo of that?

cappucinogirl4 Sat 02-Feb-13 12:14:22

Thanks everyone.I think i feel she's too young because she's not the most hygiene conscious child (are there any 11 year olds that are?!) A bit of a soap dodger and I can imagine her putting one in and leaving it there for a week.
I've mentioned tampons to her this morning and she didn't seem too embarrassed so we'll wait until the teen pack comes and see what she thinks

specialsubject Sat 02-Feb-13 16:38:37

She will have periods for 40 years, so the quicker she learns to deal with it as a minor bodily function, the better. FWIW I've never learnt to use ones without applicators, but those with are fine - top tip for the inexperienced is to aim for the small of the back, not straight up.

the way I see it is if she has periods, she can use tampons.

KateShmate Sat 02-Feb-13 16:58:03

Try the Tampax Pearl - they've got a really soft applicator, so much nicer than the cardboard ones! They come in 'lites' which is the purple one, and actually say that they are the 'perfect first-time tampon'.
I think the Lilets are non-applicator and, although many may disagree, I can never (to this day!) use non-applicator tampons. I agree with a PP that they are really easy to insert wrong so that you can constantly feel the tampon.

I think at 11 that she would be absolutely fine, but if not then have you thought about the delaying pill? I always take it when we go abroad as I always come on my period, even if I'm not due. You take it 3 days before you go on holiday and take a teeny pill 3X per day; once home you can stop and you'll have a period.

Varya Sat 02-Feb-13 17:01:46

My daughter in her early teens wanted to use tampons and said no one uses sanitowels nowadays so she went ahead and was fine at 13 yrs old. Good suggestions about vaseline on the tip and inserting with one foot on the toilet lid for best position to insert.

seeker Sat 02-Feb-13 17:30:11

Wow- I'd rather mine learned to use tampons than took hormones!

THERhubarb Mon 04-Feb-13 11:19:41

seeker I'm one of those who uttered the words "too young". I'm also the poster who could feel it in. I kinda feel some of the posters are making a few little digs about what I might have meant so let me confirm a few things:

Personally I couldn't use them as a teenager. I couldn't seem to get them in far enough and tampons then only seemed to come in a couple of sizes, there were no tampons for teens like there are now. I also didn't have a mother to guide me.

I have no ignorant ideas about losing your virginity to them.

My opinion comes from my experiences and I have also read advice that it's best to start teens off with towels and then progress onto tampons. The older they are, the more confident they will feel inserting tampons.

This is why I said I felt she might be too young. Nothing to do with ignorant views on women's bodies or virginity or anything like that. Just experience, remembering previous advice and taking on board what the OP said about her daughter.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 15:50:22

I am anti tampons in under 18 to be frank, but I have my reasons.
Several females in my family have either symptoms of or have experienced toxic shock. I wouldn't want to have to explain this to my dd so unless she asks me I can't really tell her about alternatives until she is older.
They all seem to start before or around age 10 as well.
There are some tampons now though that are developed for younger girls, but please use under strict supervision in early days of using.
I would hate somebody to go through what I did. At age 14 my first attempt at tampons I had such a high temperature and was hospitalised until the diagnosis happened. The doctor told me I could die if I used one again.
These cases are rare but they do happen and about 200 die a year. Most of them are women and most of the women have used tampons.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 16:12:57

Why wouldn't you want to explain that to your dd?

QOD Mon 04-Feb-13 16:58:33

Well Seeker, I can't insert them in her myself can I ? As I said, each to their own, beach holiday in 45c heat with sanitary towels and just, well, sitting there, no water park etc, or hormones.
No different than the pill to be fair. Dd is now 14, started periods at 11.1 and still not regular, they've offered to put her on the pill to regulate ... now THAT I wouldn't do.
But twice in 4 yrs? Meh.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 17:24:48

Seeker

She is only 9. I will of course tell her the family history when she is a bit older.
There is alot more to the family history too, but don't want to scare the poor kid. I have only just recently told her about periods.
I have my suspicion she is not too far off as she is showing some symptoms just recently.

bigTillyMint Mon 04-Feb-13 17:35:56

I wouldn't say she is too young. One of DD's friends who used to do a lot of swimming used them at that age.

It may be more that she doesn't want to use them. DD(13) won't even consider them yet.

You need to do a full explanation of how to use them, how often to change them, thoughwink

MyFace Mon 04-Feb-13 20:03:41

DD is nearly 10 so I am arming myself with as much information as possible.

This made me think twice about tampons but at the end of the day, it's what she is comfortable with and all we can do is make them relaxed and informed about the whole thing.

Will be ordering the lil-lets starter pack which has a range of things to try.

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Feb-13 21:13:26

If DD is still dancing when she starts, then I imagine that she will want to use tampons from the off - no way of hiding a towel when wearing a leotard and tights and waving your legs round your ears (strange bendy ballet-child that she is).

Just developing breast buds at 10 and a few months, so I should imagine she'll be 11 or so.

I used towels initially, didn't progress to tampons until older, but I can't see DD being able to avoid her 7 or so hours of dancing a week for a week each month....

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