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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.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 20-Apr-11 16:37:28

Oh my goodness, the poor thing. Has she suggested tampons or a mooncup? I guess they would be problematic if she thinks towels are uncomfortable.

Does she say why they are uncomfortable? While I agree that they are, I can't think that toilet paper is any better comfortwise.

virginiasmonalogue Wed 20-Apr-11 16:37:37

Gosh I can't imagine why she would do this, and I doubt she'll stop until your sister knows why it is and can help her find a solution.

Has she tried tampons?? I used to dislike towels because they have a funny smell to them and tried tampons aged about 15 and never looked back.

Tidyyourroom Wed 20-Apr-11 16:45:16

Thans. My sister is a bit reluctant to suggest tampons - she feels A is a bit too young. I imagine she would feel the same about a mooncup.
My niece won't give a reason as to why she finds towels so uncomfortable - she says "they just are".

Dropdeadfred Wed 20-Apr-11 16:48:04

is she worried about the towels being visible? or making her walk funny?
my dd said she hated all the towels as she was sure people could tell even when she had jeans on
i bought her the teeniest tampons and panty liners instead and she used a combination of those

ChasingSquirrels Wed 20-Apr-11 16:48:29

I would definitely be suggesting tampons (well I would be suggesting a mooncup because I think they are fantastic), I certainly wouldn't think that 15 was too young, I used them right from the start and assumed that everyone else did too.
Towels are dire.

nickelbaalamb Wed 20-Apr-11 16:50:26

my mum used to refuse to let me use tampons - but in the end I forced her to buy me some.
I hated wearing towels, but i can't believe that toilt paper is more comfortable than towels!

Definitely think 15 is old enough for tampons.

TakeItOnTheChins Wed 20-Apr-11 16:57:49

What an odd way to behave! Has she got SN?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 20-Apr-11 17:00:50

how about washable towels (google fairy hammocks). They are much more comfortable than disposable and come with some really nice patterns.

holderness Wed 20-Apr-11 17:02:31

Perhaps she doesn't think she is old enough to be having periods herself.

So when she bleeds she only has to use toilet paper to get cope with the flow ( bit like thick wee really) and not that horrible grown up packet stuff for adults.

Maybe she needs a bit of help coming to terms with her changing body. Just because she has been educated about the process doesn't necessarily make it easy.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Wed 20-Apr-11 17:02:38

Poor thing, sounds like she's really not emotionally ready for this is she struggling with other aspects of puberty too? Bras, body hair etc? My DSD is really hating it - she often won't use anything when she's on.

I don't know anything about them personally but I've heard of washable sanitary towels - they are becoming fashionable again! I guess they might feel a bit more comfy, because they are material rather than that weird artificial stuff.

FriedEggyAndSlippery Wed 20-Apr-11 17:03:38

FWIW I didn't manage with tampons until after I'd lost my virginity - so they aren't necessarily the answer anyway.

schooltripworry Wed 20-Apr-11 17:03:42

Maybe she is worried about the process of disposing of them? Seems to want to be able to flush the paper away. Tampons should be fine for 15 yo. Can flush those if she really has to.

Is her skin reacting to the towels possibly? I have long and heavy periods and after a few days of wearing towels certain <ahem> areas get a bit irritated and start to itch....

I honestly can't think how shoving a wad of loo paper in your knickers could possibly be more comfortable than a towel. There's got to be more to it.

Teaandcakeplease Wed 20-Apr-11 17:12:40

I used tampax slender when my periods first began but I always needed a towel beneath as well. My mum bought me some awful ones to begin with. I settled on Always with wings. I'd also keep poppins bags in my school bag to tuck things in and to bin descreetly when no one was looking. As in those days the school toilets only had one sanitary bin out by the basins and I hated everyone seeing me dispose of things and tried to do it when no one was about <shudders at the memory>

Are you the cool Aunty? Could you try and chat with her about it in a roundabout way? Or would she be horrified if you tried?

Abr1de Wed 20-Apr-11 17:13:39

Please don't tell her to flush tampons away! The water companies are always warning against this.

notcitrus Wed 20-Apr-11 17:18:22

Could she be picking up on her mum thinking she is 'too young' for tampons etc and trying to act like she is too young for 'real' periods? Or has anyone teased her about visible towels - in which case liners with or without tampons might reassure her.

It's possible she's allergic to stuff they make towels out of but probably not - has she tried different ones?

This happened a few times when I was at boarding school so it must be reasonably common.

expatinscotland Wed 20-Apr-11 17:18:44

I used tampons at 11. I had to try different ones, but they'll work.

I can't abide towels, they all irritate my skin.

hk78 Wed 20-Apr-11 17:20:31

schooltripworry Wed 20-Apr-11 17:03:42
Maybe she is worried about the process of disposing of them? Seems to want to be able to flush the paper away. Tampons should be fine for 15 yo. Can flush those if she really has to.

yes, it might be that she feels cringey and embarassed, i used to (used tampons in the end and never looked back).
an idea might be to offer nappy sacks to conceal them/cancel out any possibility of smell?

and make sure bathroom bin has a lid so she doesn't feel like everyone can see?

I know it's nothing to be ashamed of, but just thinking of ways of helping her get used to it.

Abr1de Wed 20-Apr-11 17:22:08


EvenLessNarkyPuffin Wed 20-Apr-11 17:23:23

Interesting first post. Assuming you are genuine, tampons. How can 15 be too young for them?

BluddyMoFo Wed 20-Apr-11 17:25:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CointreauVersial Wed 20-Apr-11 17:31:15

Like many people I never ever used towels, ghastly things; I used tampons right from Day 1, and assumed everyone else did too.

But apparently, there is an "opinion" on MN that teenagers are "too young" for tampons and should start with towels, something I find really odd.

I really think your sis should suggest tampons - the really slim ones with applicators are easy to use. But it needs to come from her mum in the first instance, not aunty.

pink4ever Wed 20-Apr-11 17:31:31

Ok I am going to admit that I did thisblush. Started mine at age 12 and knew all about them beforehand(my mum was very frank about such stuff). However I was still really embarassed to talk about it and ask my mum to buy me towels(I lived with my gps too so doubly embarassing if had to ask them) so I also just used toilet roll(like your dd I also hid soiled under wear). Looking back alot of it was to do with emotional issues I had at the time(very bad relationship with mothers partner,my mum being pregnant with youngest sibling). I would suggest that there is something similiar going on with your niece. Please please do not ask her about this(I was mortified when my nan upon finding soiled knickers proceeded to tell my mum,aunt and uncle!). Perhaps just offer to take her out for a nice day out and see if she confides anything to you?.

BluddyMoFo Wed 20-Apr-11 17:34:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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