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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

Porvoo Mon 11-Feb-13 20:45:43

OP, I felt I had to warn you what you & your daughter may face if you push for the GP to investigate cause of her pain. If I knew now what I did when I was younger, I would have pushed harder for a referral to a gynae & I may have gone to a male GP instead. I often wondered if the reason why the female Drs I saw were so dismissive & basically accused me of whinging was because they had non-painful periods & couldn't imagine anyone experiencing anything different.
This line of thought started when a friend of mine came off the pill after being on it since 16 & experienced painful periods for the first time. She complained to me about the pain & said when she was on the pill, she thought anyone complaining about period pain was just a drama queen! My friend did't know what I went through every month as I never complained to anyone.

Regardless of what anyone says, if the pain your DD is experiencing is interfering with her lifestyle, it is unacceptable to just put up with it.
As others have said, back & tummy pain a week before her period are symptoms of endo & it seems unlikely to be caused by disposable pads or tampons.
If you do find anything that helps with the pain, please update us.

QOD Mon 11-Feb-13 15:17:59

She has pain pre period which won't be helped by natural care pads OR made better by using them.
That's so horrible at her age, I second and 3rd the natural supplements, also back in the day, I had ponstan forte from the Drs which was a help.

Badvoc Mon 11-Feb-13 15:05:06

I have tried;
Mini pill- worked well for me til I was considered a stroke risk so can't have it any more.
Depo injection - awful. Put on 2 stone and dreadful mood swings.
Noriday pill - made me feel really ill.
Cerazette - lots of bleeding, not good.
Mirena coil - spotting for 5 months. Pain.
So, dh is having the snip.

SugarMouse1 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:57:03

No experience of reusable stuff, sorry.

But I have painful periods- though I find either co-codamol or Naproxen (feminax ultra) sorts it out.

However, not your dd shouldn't take anything potentially addicctive for 10 days!

Maybe the pill would be a better option. Or the implant stops periods completely in a significant number of people, but is not without side effects.

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 14:48:04

Running anything stained under a hot tap works really well, then bung it in the normal wash - don't use boiling water or it sets the stain. Ds has massive nose bleeds and so sheets are often covered in blood.

GobblersKnob Mon 11-Feb-13 14:46:07

Some of my cotton tops have very slight stains, nothing really very noticable though. My favourite towels are Wee Notions minky topped ones they are super soft and comfy and don't stain ever, they wash really well.

fluffyraggies Mon 11-Feb-13 11:47:42

I was wondering about staining too, but then remembered something:

I have an old white towel that i spread out and lay on at night on my heaviest days in case i leak (i leak allot: i sleep heavily, and once asleep i move onto my tummy with one knee drawn right up very high at the side. Not condusive to keeping blood on a pad wink).

I regularly get a fair amount of blood on this towel, and once i really soaked it (early MC sad)

Anyway, i don't soak or rinse the towel pre' wash, i just fling it in the machine on it's own when i get up (or later) if i've bled on it, sometimes on a cool wash, and it's perhaps slightly grey/white, but certainly not stained. So this bodes well for washable pads.

I was sad to read Porvoos experience - "I found the women doctors I saw to be the least sympathetic & the most insensitive." but somehow i'm not surprised either. Thank you for all the info though.

I want to thank you all again for continuing to add to the info here on this thread. So interesting and encouraging actually. I am interested in reading updates on how posters get on with their new pads and/or cups after reading this thread. I will update on DD.

Badvoc Mon 11-Feb-13 10:55:14

Thanks sock.
I might make my own at some point if I feel brave enough smile

differentnameforthis Mon 11-Feb-13 10:41:05

5dcsinneedofacleaner Mine haven't stained (using them about 2rs now). Mine are homemade, using cotton outer & towelling inner. I am just in the process of buying materials to make & to make liners too.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Feb-13 21:07:20

Bollocks forgot to check the box to make the links work,I'm a tit.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Feb-13 21:05:37

Forgot to add with the night time ones you may not actually need them I only use them because I do not use the moon cup at night don't really know why I just don't, so if you intend on using the mooncup at night as well as day time you may very well be ok with a regular pad for night time.

Good ones for budget considerations are the ones made by minki

Unless your super tall then you will need the slightly longer ones called super minki in this list

Or the ones made by angel padz I linked to before but here they are again

These are much cheaper than the night time pads but are more than suitable if you either have slightly lighter days/nights or co use with mooncup the angel pads feel more substantial are a bit longer and wider hence why they are £1.25 ish more expensive than the minki brand ones but both are perfectly adequate

The minki pads all have a substantial visible PUL backing that some people rather like and unless you wear 1970's thin nylon knickers they won't slide around but will if you do ( if you do wear those knickers then stop there just nasty and you will have a plague of thrush infesting your chuff)

I'm actually sat here with one of each pad trying to explain them both to you I look weird grin

With the angel padz you can choose either PUL or fleece backing I personally prefer fleece but both backing do the job.

I would try the mooncup for a couple of periods before you buy any more as you may find that you can get on just with that and a basic liner in which case if you like the Eco femme ones then 2 more packs so you have 9 pads in total and you will be fine, loads of people use the moon cup with no leaks at all and no problems so don't bother with liners when I first used it I didnt use anything other than the mooncup but for some reason since my youngest was born I've had minor leak issues so do combine both

also a polite way of saying I piss myself regulary and its much less embarrassing whilst wearing a liner

The regular minki pads also cope well with the sneeze effect.

If those liners work for you you will have about 10 years + San pro for £36 that's a huge saving.

I have a huge stash but then I have to use a pad of some description every day but if you don't then you don't need a huge collection the liners dry quickly so you don't need loads to use whilst in wash/dryer/ line 9really is enough if also using a moon cup.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Feb-13 20:36:25

Yes but off the top of my head its just normal wash at 40 and can be tumble dried.

Things to remember those pads are designed so the blue side goes against your body and the patten side against your knickers and all pads need to be washed before you first use them just the same as knickers are supposed to be.

Badvoc Sun 10-Feb-13 20:19:03

Yes that's the pack I have gone for.
Am assuming laundry instructions come with them?
I may buy some night time ones after pay day....I do tend to leak sadly sad

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Feb-13 18:55:33

As long as they are either rinsed well or soaked in COLD water they will not stain at all.

badvoc if you get on with the liners ( I'm guessing you went with the Eco something or other ones that are a 3 pack for about £8. ( I also chose those first) then have a look at making your own or if you don't want to do that but do want/ need more then buying one or two when ever you have a few quid spare can be a good way of building up a collection.

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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 08:50:11

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

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.

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.

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....

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.

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.

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.

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