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to ask you please to come and talk to me about period pains and disposable sanitary protection ...

(89 Posts)
fluffyraggies Tue 05-Feb-13 08:47:52

Following on from the informative thread about disposable pads - there was mention of the toxins in disposables contributing to period pain.

One of my DDs, 14, suffers with awful back and tummy pain for a week before her period and for the first few days. She's in tears some days. She has seen our GP,who has prescribed pain killers. They give some relief, but i hate seeing her popping pills for 10 days a month. (She uses those sticky heat pads on her back or tummy when she's at school, and a hot water bottle when she's home as well)

My question is - has anyone had experience of menstrual pains lessening when they gave up disposable pads and began using washable ones?

I'm thinking it might be difficult for her to use re-usable internal protection while at school, such as the sponge, but what do you think?

It would be so worth it if it would help her, but is there much evidence that it would? I can show her this thread smile

Badvoc Thu 07-Feb-13 21:03:13

Are the washable lads very expensive? sad
I have had 30 years of hellish periods, only helped by going in the pill age 18.
Sadly I am now considered a stroke risk (hemi plegic migraines) and so had to come off the pill.
Have tried...painkillers both OTC and prescription. Depo injection (put on 2 stne and bec,ad sociopathic!) cerazette (nothing changed) mirena coil (5 months of continuous spotting/bleeding)..nothing has helped.
I get a week of black-brown sludge (sorry this is really tmi) and then 2 really heavy days...clots, flooding the works.
Then 3-4 days of normal bleeding.
30 fucking years.
I get horrific headaches, nausea, and dreadful pain. And I had 2 dc with no pain relief but my periods can have me almost crying in pain sad

Badvoc Thu 07-Feb-13 21:03:32

Washable pads!

RayofSun Thu 07-Feb-13 21:25:12

I think it would be wise to consider the cause behind the pain. I have endometriosis and had all the symptoms you mentioned in your daughter. I was not diagnosed til I was 24 and in hindsight, it was so obvious that my periods were not like my friends but I guess you don't always talk in such detail at that age. I say this because the pill can be quite beneficial in managing endometriosis so would be worth considering but it is a bugger to get many GPs to take you seriously and refer you for a formal opinion.

I just wonder why I suffered for so long. And then the first I found out about it was when I was rushed into hospital for an emergency laparotomy! sad.

youllneedthisfish Thu 07-Feb-13 21:37:14

I had terrible period pains. I only really realised how much they used to affect me once I got pregnant and they stopped. Now I have the Mirena coil and no periods for three years.

I can remember in my early twenties three or four really embarrassing and excruciating incidents where the pain got so bad that I had to curl up at work under a desk or on a toilet floor. I don't know why I didn't pursue it more, I guess I just wished it would go away. I was freelance too so it was often with people I didn't know that well.

Anyway I just wanted to say that you should try all avenues to give your daughter the chance to have a more normal school life. How terrible for her - I really feel for her. Explaining why you are not 100% to a vaguely understanding boss (or managing your work accordingly) is one thing, but having to attend classes and concentrate is another. The pill or other hormonal treatments may well be worth it I think at this crucial time for her. Don't let a GP fob you off with improvements over time, what about NOW when she is setting her path for life?

anyway I really wish her well, and I really hope school toilets are nicer nowadays! best of luck

Do you have endometriosis?

OP - I use a mooncup but I don't think it made a difference to the pain (another endo sufferer also PCOS) the only thing that has really helped is the pill. I had painful periods from the outset and used to get sent home from school, painkillers didn't really do the trick.

One thing, if you are going to use painkillers like Ibuprofen, Ponstan, Naproxen etc often they are most effective if you start taking them before your period starts e.g. the day before as they damp down the build up of prostaglandins before they reach the high levels that cause greatest pain.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 07-Feb-13 22:15:22

As to expense these are the ones I tend to mostly use

As you can see they are £4 each.

These are the ones that I had suggested for teens or cup users or shorter lady's

They are £5 each but some designs are cheaper.

These are also good for teens as they arnt bulky or long are soft as well a very soft thing and are double poppered so feel more secure they are also £3.75 each

Try and remember that these are intended to last donkeys years ( tech term that [ grin] they say 5 year each pad but I know people who have had the same pads for 20+ years with decent laundry care ( basicly that means not grabbing them from the clean laundry pile and using them to wipe down the kitchen side or as makeshift oven gloves and not letting the dog chew them)

Mooncups go from about £11 anywhere up to £40 depending on brand incidentally I personally prefer meluna and they are one of the most affordable ones and come in funky colours and glitter if you want like this

They last eons I've had one for 6 years no probs am hoping seen as its made of the same stuff that my boobs are made from and obviously there inside me as well and have been going strong for 15 years now that the mooncup should have as many years left in it. As long as you keep it nice and clean when not in use.

Purely from a cost perspective it makes sense I have no idea how much a box of tampons/ towels/ liners are these days but I'm guessing one reusable pad will have not cost you any more than you would spend each month on throwaways. You don't have to switch over to reusables all in one hit , and you don't have to use the cup with the pads they are fine independently so you could pick up one a month or 2 a month to build up your stash, you can even make them yourself if you have a sewing machine and fabric. You can buy kits to make them like this

But you don't need a kit any old fabric will do and all the sites listed here

Tell you how as will you tube, on you tube you will also find loads and loads of uploads from teenagers and younger adults apsolutly raving about reusable pads just search reusable pads.

One of the best things about them is they do not smell at all, I hate the manky smell disposables have its horrid but seriously you get no smell at all from reusables.

They are easy to care for hardly increase your laundry and don't need soaking as long as you rinse in cold water.

And they are comfy against you

Boomerwang Thu 07-Feb-13 23:10:09

I might try a mooncup. It's never occurred to me to change what I use. Last time I bought a double size pack of Always it cost the equivalent of £4. In the UK it'd be about £2.60.

Time for a change, but I have no idea which size to get...

MummytoMog Fri 08-Feb-13 00:07:41

I had the same problem - turned out to be a combo of shitty hormones and a retroverted uterus. Mooncup was awesome for me, but the pill kept me sane though my teens. B17 supplement was also good smile

Badvoc Fri 08-Feb-13 08:04:19

Thank you, will look I to it.
I don't have least I have never had a laparoscopy to rule it out, but have had many many ultrasound scans over the years which have all been normal.
Also had an endometrial biopsy sat year which was normal.
I have a tilted uterus, apparently.
My gp also told me at 17 that it would get better after I had a baby angry well, I am 41 this year and its no bloody better!....

fluffyraggies Fri 08-Feb-13 08:32:59

Many many stories of women going though such pain sad

I know it's a cliche but how the hell can it be that the human race are going into space - when at the same time something so basic as managing half the population's agony once a month hasn't been addressed properly? (or poverty, or war - but anyway ...)

Thank you again for sharing and for those giving lots of such useful info.

My DD is very much on board with disposable pads. She looked a bit hmm about cups (this was before i read about glittery ones being available, that might sway her)(no, really! lol)

She asked about sponges - understand about the rinsing out between uses, popping it back in, but how do you clean them properly at the end of the period? Can you hot wash them?

To sum up a little on the cup front, many of you are recommending 'meluna' cups it seems, for their softness.

undercoverhousewife Fri 08-Feb-13 09:06:55

Honestly, please look into Von Willebrands Disease:

It's the most common coagulation disorder and responsible for lots of cases of heavy period bleeding (? the majority). You can diagnose it with a blood test and and easily cure it with a NASAL spray!!!!! Please don't let your daughter suffer. GP's notoriously underdiagnose VWD. I am not a doctor but have close relatives who are...

undercoverhousewife Fri 08-Feb-13 09:08:55

Honestly, please look into Von Willebrands Disease:

It's the most common coagulation disorder and responsible for lots of cases of heavy period bleeding (? the majority). You can diagnose it with a blood test and and easily cure it with a NASAL spray!!!!! Please don't let your daughter suffer. GP's notoriously underdiagnose VWD. I am not a doctor but have close relatives who are...

One reason it gets missed is that GP's refer to a gynaecologist when it is a bleeding specialist who can diagnose. Gynaecologists spend a lot of time looking for gynaecological causes understandably, and don't seem to look at clotting disorders.

Theicingontop Fri 08-Feb-13 09:12:02

I had horrible period pains, and all symptoms associated with them - vomiting, diarrhea, fainting. And the pill did help.

But it also killed my sex drive for five years. hmm

Have a look at the "Bleeding Symptoms" here

it sounds like what you are describing. As far as I know endo doesn't show up on an ultrasound. Your biopsy could be normal because endo is when the endometrial tissue spreads to other places rather than being abnormal.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 08-Feb-13 18:20:34

I had horrendous periods in my teens, I went on the pill and never looked back.
It's definitely something worth looking at.

Porvoo Fri 08-Feb-13 22:40:34

OP, your daughter's symptoms sound like endometriosis. I would like to share some info with you & other Mnetters about this condition.
It is graded in stages, 1 being minimal & 4 is severe. The grading is of the physical disease & it's location, it's not related to level of pain. Therefore, someone with Stage 1 can experience worse pain than someone with Stage 4. Likewise, it's possible to have the condition & not suffer pain.
Whilst many here have been very lucky that taking the pill helped with period pain, for me it did not. The pill did nothing. Also, my specialist told me it was likely I had been born with this condition.
If a woman has endo, her daughter is 6 times more likely to also have the condition.

Unfortunately, getting a diagnosis for endometriosis can be a long battle. I had doctors tell me that getting pregnant / giving birth would "cure" my pain, that period pain is normal, etc etc. All things that to me indicated the doctors (yes, I visited many!) either didn't understand the disease or didn't believe me. They also did not take the time to ask me about my symptoms.
Endometriosis is quite common and can affect fertility, it is not "cured" by pregnancy or childbirth. Telling a patient that pregnancy is a cure is insensitive as they may not want children or may have trouble conceiving. A friend of mine endured 7 painful years of trying to conceive all the while suffering terrible period pain & having to take time off work every month.
Period pain can (not always) become worse over the years.
I know you and your daughter are not ready for this, but endo can also cause pain during or after sex which obviously impacts on relationships.

OP, I do urge you strongly to explore this avenue & seek a doctor who will listen. On average, it takes a woman 7.5yrs to obtain a diagnosis.
Ironically, I found the women doctors I saw to be the least sympathetic & the most insensitive. I finally found a good specialist & he spent about 1hr with me asking me everything about my medical history & concluded there was a strong chance I have endo (now confirmed).
As others have mentioned, endo can only be confirmed with a laproscopy.
I didn't know that the "javelin arse" I suffered from (sometimes during bowel movements & sex) was a symptom of endo. And thanks to the MNetters who mentioned that on here, I realise now I'm not alone.

More info can be found here

badvoc the location & size of endo I have would not be picked up with an ultrasound, I would encourage you to get a proper diagnosis. You should not have to put up with your symptoms.

OP, if you have any questions, you are welcome to PM me.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Feb-13 00:37:50

If your dd does decide to try the meluna cup with glitter tell her the glitter is encased in the silicone so lasts forever as long as the mooncup does, it has several options for the base ( the bit that helps her remove it) the. Est one for newbies inho is the ring or ball.

And the soft/klassik/sport at the end of each colour refers to the firmness of the cup not the shade of the colour.

ukatlast Sat 09-Feb-13 06:06:22

If her pains are starting before her period comes, I fail to see how there can be any link between that and her choice of sanitary wear. Anything going on about toxins is highly suspect pseudo science i.m.h.o.
I am past periods now (just) but I remember having a bad time with them at a similar age and rather than painkillers, my GP put me on a very light version of a hormone which would suppress ovulation - that seemed to do the trick although I didn't stay on it forever. From memory it was called Aprinox.
I always used disposable pads and could never get on with tampons. I was also put off tampons by an episode of Casualty where a policewoman collapsed with toxic shock syndrome....

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sat 09-Feb-13 06:21:14

Thanks for this thread I never thought of washable pads. Both dds 14 & 10 sad suffer terribly with period cramps. I've been lying awake since 3am crying because dd has to deal with periods at such a young age.

differentnameforthis Sun 10-Feb-13 05:24:31

WRT thrush, pretty much every month I would get thrush following/during my period. Ever since using washables, I don't get this issue.

It also helps with pain too. I use disposables v occasionally, and always feel uncomfortable in them. With washables, it is just like wearing knickers, as mine are made of cotton.

Badvoc Sun 10-Feb-13 08:50:11

I have thrush ATM!!
I think I need to look into this...

5dcsinneedofacleaner Sun 10-Feb-13 08:56:31

I have been thinking about using re usable pads - those who use them sorry for the stupid question but do they wash ok? I would hate to use something covered in stains blush

Badvoc Sun 10-Feb-13 09:23:08

Ok, can't afford the amount of pads I need...liners, heavy flow, nighttime etc so have gone for a pack of liners and a mooncup!
Has cost me £20 so in 3 months should have paid for itself?
Thanks for all the info.

Adversecamber Sun 10-Feb-13 09:54:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hugoagogo Sun 10-Feb-13 12:49:46

I made my own; I just used an old thin towel for the inner layer and a shower curtain for the waterproof layer, old tshirt or pyjamas for the top layer and something slightly stiffer for the bottom and wings like denim.

You really don't need any special equipment or materials, at a push a folded up flannel will do the trick-any improvements you can make are all a bonus.

I used this pattern, although it say's it's just a panty liner you can make it longer and thicker to suit your needs, it works really well if you aren't much of a sewer and haven't got an overlocker.

There are loads of other patterns out there; I quite fancy the circular ones, as it's less obvious what they are if someone sees them hanging on the line. grin

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