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Apocalyptic periods - how do you cope?

(34 Posts)
Corygal Wed 30-Apr-14 20:38:09

I'm 46 and now having the most flamboyant bleeds. Last month the flat looked like a scene from Reservoir Dogs after my period started and I tried to make it from the ruined bed to the loo - think carpet cleaning and binning the bedding - this month the bleeding has been so bad I've been almost housebound.

How do you cope, particularly at night? I'm using super plus tampax, a night towel, two pairs of pajama bottoms and still waking up soaked and having to change or throw away sheets. Pain is not too bad, but still nearly keeled over with a cramp when I nipped out to the shop today.

SteppingonLego Sun 11-May-14 07:35:48

Agree with those that have recommended mirena coil. I used to have to set an alarm for 2am to avoid leaking all over the bed in the middle of the night. Don't need to use anything more than pantyliners now. It did take around 2 or 3 months to settle down after having it fitted though.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Sun 11-May-14 07:30:16

Agree, tampax are useless for this kind of thing. Lillets do an Ultra Extra (in Purple) which are great.grin Asda's own ultra extra ones are about the size of the Lillets ultra/orange ones.

RuddyDuck Sun 11-May-14 01:46:43

I used to have horrendous periods, and would get up every hour during the night to change all sanpro. Still ended up ruining vountless sheets, but sleeping on towels did save the mattress grin
I went countless times to the Gp. Tried Tranexamic Acid, which didn't make a difference. Had a Mirena fitted, which didn't lesssen the bleeding and also lengthened my periods, to the
point where they were 16 days long shock

I eventually saw a different GP who was much more helpful and referred me to gynae. Turned out I had a massive fibroid in my uterus, so I had that removed. I now still have very heavy -but managable - bleeding on day 1, but otherwise my periods have gone back to normal.

When my periods were at their worst, I could not have gone to work for the first two days as I had to change tampons approx every 20 - 30 minutes during the day, and regularly flooded through all my clothing. I took norethisterone so that my periods started on a Friday afternoon, and I could then spend the weekend in close proximity to a bathroom!

I found that Tampax are hopeless for heavy periods. Lillets are much better as they expand widthways. Lillets do a very heavy duty tampon called "ultra" in orange packaging. Our city centre Boots occasionally stocks them but I buy them online.

Definitely go and see your GP, we should not have to put up with this.

puffylovett Fri 09-May-14 11:58:28

Another one here. I was very anaemic after flooding constantly for 2-3 days.

Iron tablets have helped, changing my diet has helped and also seeing a naturopath who has been supporting my liver function helped massively. I've gone from changing my overflowing mooncup hourly to every 2-3 hours not overflowing, so that's a 50-60% reduction? Since diet and supplementation smile

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Fri 09-May-14 09:08:34

Black bedsheets, duvet covers, knickers and PJs with a waterproof fitted sheet underneath.

Also, always have carrier bags in the car in case you need one to sit on.

See a GP. I too am anaemic and it has helped to be on iron. It has also meant I can now exercise which again helps with the pain.

There are other things that can cause heavy periods, like fibroids (can be ruled out/detected with a simple ultrasound) so ask the GP to find out what is causing the problem, not just treat symptoms. Anaemia does take a while to treat (and that's after you've waited a month for the GP appountment, another for bloods to get taken and another to see the GP again. One black sheet now will save you 3 or more....)

Abra1d Fri 09-May-14 08:55:55

Mooncups definitely help contain the floods. Mine don't quite get me through the night without padding, but they are much better than tampons.

Re the additional padding: I used real nappies for my children and saved some of the lining pads. They are thick, soft cotton and I fold them in half or thirds and stuff them into my pants at night. I also keep a small dark towel by the bed so that when I stand up I can stuff it between my legs, and save the carpet. I also use old tennis and running socks, stuffed into my pants. THey are very absorbent and can just be either thrown out or washed on a hot wash and reused. I find them better than disposables and softer.

I used to feel so ashamed of the mess I made. I had no idea it was so commonplace.

Atbeckandcall Fri 09-May-14 08:49:59

Alpaca, I'm also in Wilts.

Should you have any other gynae issues I can't recommend highly enough Mr Griffiths at the Ridgeway (he is so at the GWH).

AlpacaLypse Fri 09-May-14 08:47:40

Another Tranexamic Acid worshipper here. In fact you've reminded me I've got to drop in my repeat prescription request!

OP if you're in NE Wilts I'll come and collect you for your next appointment - no woman should continue to suffer like this and I have dogproof seat covers should WW3 occur on the journey

Northumberlandlass Fri 09-May-14 08:44:05

Hi Corygal - I had similiar, understand how awful it is. I had my Mirena Coil fitted in Feb this year. I'm still waiting for it to settle & now on my 2nd period in 4 weeks. But it's nowhere near as heavy as it used to be. I'm giving the coil 7 months to settle & if it doesn't I'm going for ablation.

Talk to your GP - there are things that will help. flowers

Atbeckandcall Fri 09-May-14 08:37:10

It's because I'm your stalker. wink

BeckAndCall Fri 09-May-14 07:58:22

Crikey atbeckandcall look at our names!! <derails thread>

Atbeckandcall Fri 09-May-14 07:45:31


Firstly, have these thanks and when you're done bleeding, this wine.

I suffered with this and it was horrid. Used to sit on the toilet for 2 hours at a time, until the pins and needles got so bad I had to stand up! This would go on for about 4 days a month. I had a mirena coil fitted at 27, and I got my life back. As someone said up thread, it could be peri-menopausal symptoms.
Get to the GP and demand (I know it's not polite, but they're quite good at fobbing off) blood tests and gynae referral.

BeckAndCall Fri 09-May-14 07:26:38

Another vote for the Mirena here, at least as a first pass. Changed my life for several years.

But then got an intrauterine infection and had it removed and back to square one. Same as you OP - carpets, bedding the lot. Housebound for a couple of days at a time. Stuck in the bathroom not leaving for hours at a time. Work days in London with clients - nightmare.

Then - endometrial ablation! Under GA, had the lining of my womb removed. And got my life back!

lapsedorienteerer Thu 08-May-14 21:03:38

Should have added I had fibroids so had ablation under GA and mirena fitted at the same time (not in UK), a win, win solution.

lapsedorienteerer Thu 08-May-14 21:00:24

Another Mirena coil fan here. Had same problems as you until had Mirena fitted at age 43 and a replacement 5 years later. I've now gone 8 years without thinking about periods......blissgrin.

Firsttimer7259 Thu 08-May-14 20:52:45

Mirena coil barely have periods now

pearlgirl Fri 02-May-14 03:11:44

I had an ablation last year for similar flooding issues - we knew that our family was complete as it means no more babies but it has changed my life - I no longer carry spare sets of clothes around or sit on waterproof coats when at work( I teach in people's homes and was always terrified of the sudden gush that would signal a flood)

MyFabulousBoys Fri 02-May-14 02:04:00

Nappies opened upend worn as pads instead of tena pants may be more affordable. Toddler baby dry ones or maybe the newborn ones because they are open weave for newborn poo to soak in.

Worth a try? Sounds grim. Hope it stops soon

goodasitgets Fri 02-May-14 01:38:23

Mooncup for me has helped. Mainly because when you go to the doctors and tell them exactly how many ml of blood you lose, suddenly you get listened to angry
You need to check you're not anaemic, that can make you bleed more too, and the more you bleed, the more anaemic you get

Corygal Wed 30-Apr-14 23:58:26

Bearhug - that has made me howl with laffs despite the cramps.

Remus - the stylish solution as ever... thank you.

Thanks all so much - I have now set aside four pairs of baggy black jersey trousers that I am resigned to wearing a week a month. The washing and cleaning is horrendously irritating.

I am working from home at the mo so it's not too bad, but I have to stop doing the voluntary work in the charity shop as lifting all those bags of donations triggers an even bigger rush. Tsk.

I am waiting for a scan re fibroids but as I have travel anxiety I have missed an appt. at the hosp which is miles away.

sherbetpips Wed 30-Apr-14 21:34:54

I get it about every third month, starts off slow then 2 days of 'the flood'. I change every hour or so and deal with the overnight horror in the morning. Work is a nightmare although I have learnt that black leggings and a black chair at work hides a lot.

nonameisgoodname Wed 30-Apr-14 21:32:44

Set an alarm during the night so that wakes you to change tampon before flooding the bed.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Wed 30-Apr-14 21:29:02

Work can be a nightmare. I sometimes have three hours of lessons in a row, with no space for a break. I wear two super pads and a tampon, wear black trousers and a long black top and don't sit down. Nightmare.

Shallan Wed 30-Apr-14 21:28:28

This really is not normal, you must see a dr!

In the meantime try putting towels on top of the sheets, big beach towels can be tucked in, to stay in place.

DramaAlpaca Wed 30-Apr-14 21:27:03

I feel for you, it's a horrible peri-menopausal symptom.

I was the same until I got a mirena coil fitted when I was 46. I know it's not for everyone, but it has literally changed my life - no more periods at all now.

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