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Desperately heavy and painful periods...can anybody advise please?

(32 Posts)
ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 19:59:42

Dd1 (13) is on her second proper period and finding it very hard. She is getting through one nighttime sanitary towel per hour.
Is this a matter for GP?
Is there something diet/supplement wise that would help?

Tia smile

whomovedmychocolate Fri 25-Sep-09 20:03:19

She could well be anaemic and this can worsen bleeding. Take her to the GP for a blood test. How were your periods when they started in comparison. There are medications which can help heavy bleeding or a lot of teens get the pill for this reason.

ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 20:30:51

Thanks. I was just about to start her on iron actually.
Don't like the idea of her being on the pill <gulp>

ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 20:31:41

Don't think mine were quite that bad...hard to remember.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 25-Sep-09 21:03:08

ABitWrong - appreciate why the pill is a <gulp> would feel the same. I started mine at 9 and by 11 was missing a couple of days a month from school because of them and was given the pill and it did sort things out temporarily at least. I was very anaemic though and you get into a vicious cycle where you have low iron levels so bleed too much and then get more anaemic for next month.

Spatone is good though - very palatable in orange juice, and doesn't cause constipation like iron tablets. She may well find if she eats every three hours complex carbs (crackers etc.) and avoids sugar, things get much easier. A lot of people find this although it's hard for teens to stick to ...well anything actually, but the fluctuations in blood sugar make the cramps really bad.

It's also worth saying the first few may be quite random, they may stop altogether or get lighter but she needs to keep a diary (or you do) and take it to the GP because they require two months (at least) of data to present to any consultant they refer you too.

ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 21:07:38

Oh thank you wmmc, that is really helpful smile
Yes, it is spatone that I have just ordered.
Blood sugar levelswill tke some effort...although I think she may be willing to try anything for improvement.

9 isvery early - that must have been hard for you.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 25-Sep-09 21:13:19

I'm 20 years older than your daughter but was on the pill from age 16 (had my first period at 14) for heavy periods and was on it until ttc ds1 aged 28.

Since having our ds's my periods have been heavy and painful - Gp says this is just normal for me but it was hidden for all of those years that I was on the pill.

I've just started taking tranexamic acid which seems very effective at making the flow lighter, though it does make the period last slightly longer. You just take it when you have your period - 2 tablets 3 times a day. You could ask your GP if that is an option for your daughter?

ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 21:19:08

Thanks, that is useful.
Not sure how she will feel about longer periods though...first proper one was 10 days (and heavy for 9 of them) and this one isdragging on a bit <sigh>

whomovedmychocolate Fri 25-Sep-09 21:22:22

Nefamic acid is normally prescribed instead of tranexemic acid for teens. Nefamic acid does reduce slow and also stops the cramps.

I didn't mind the periods, but the whopping bazungas in primary school which needed heavy duty bras were a bit of an issue hmm

AitchTwoToTangOh Fri 25-Sep-09 21:34:34

have you thought about getting her to try a mooncup? many of us mooncup users on mn feel that our periods got lighter and less painful using them.

ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 21:45:00

Sympathies wmmc

I usea mooncup and she is interested but a little apprehensive. They can look a little daunting sizewise I think, especially to an only-just-13yo.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 25-Sep-09 21:51:38

She may well be worried about leakage. It is well worth investing in some expensive cotton knickers (I know, they will get stained but if you go to Petit Bateau or similar, they are three times as thick and even if your towel doesn't hold up, the pants will).

You might want to warn her as well that during the first day, when she stands from sitting for any length of time, she may experience flooding and that it can be quite scary if you don't know what's happening.

It's also worth noting in her diary when it's due so she knows that she might feel crap that day and so you know to be easier on her when she turns moody.

ABitWrong Fri 25-Sep-09 21:57:22

Good tip about the knickers.
Poor thing seems to be flooding constantly!!

She and I were pre-menstrual together this month...oh dear...

whomovedmychocolate Fri 25-Sep-09 21:58:05

Aitch - are you still doing your BLW thing? Check out my latest photies of the monsters - it's Spagbol two years on!

maryz Fri 25-Sep-09 22:05:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AitchTwoToTangOh Fri 25-Sep-09 22:17:40

ach, i'm not surprised, really. they are off-puttingly BIG even for those of us who've squished an ickle baby out of there. i started my periods at 10 too, as i recall mine settled after a few months, but they were sickeningly PAINFUL.

lololol at the pics, whomoved. spaghetti is clearly running through the whomoved double helix. grin i sent you an fbmail a couple of weeks ago asking for a spot of help with my google indexing, did you get it?

mawbroon Fri 25-Sep-09 22:18:25

My periods were like this when I was a teenager, until I went on the pill when I was 20 (IIRC).

I had to go in between every class at school to change my pad which was the size of a surf board and wished I had had the balls to tell the teachers that moaned about me being late to class exactly why I was late. Ha, would have shut their moaning faces up for sure!!!

I also often had periods two weeks apart, and my mum took me to get tested for anaemia, and despite often looking green round the gills, was told that my blood was fine.

When I had ds, almost 4 years ago, I found out that I have a heart shaped uterus, and I wonder if the heavy bleeding was down to the larger surface area inside my uterus. Pure specualtion of course!

I think you should take her to the doc tbh, just to rule out anything serious.

AitchTwoToTangOh Fri 25-Sep-09 22:22:06

oh yes, that's right. i went on the pill when i was fourteen, dianette as i recall, as an attempt to stop the pain etc. it really helped.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 26-Sep-09 08:09:00


I would be seeing the GP and asking for a referral to a gynae if this problem keeps happening; diets/supplements are of little to no use in such cases.

The pill will help (I only wish I had gone on it when I was 14 because I had endometriosis then) but it will only mask the symptoms of the underlying problems. It won't take any endo away if it is there.

I would also try to establish the CAUSE rather than solely just treat the symptoms.
Can your DD keep a pain and symptom diary; this could be useful to the doc/gynae if and when you see such a person.

BTW some GPs are next to useless when it comes to such issues. Heavy and painful periods like these are not normal particularly if they keep happening and you should not have to put up with it!.

I do not wish to worry you unduly but you need to be aware that endometriosis can occur even at this early age and can cause problems like severe pain and heavy bleeding. If she continues to experience such problems endometriosis cannot be ruled out and she should see a gynae.

glasgowlass Sat 26-Sep-09 08:20:37


I agree with Attila, if this persists a trip to the Gp would be worthwhile as it cannot be pleasant for your DD (or you to see her like this), it may get to the stage she dreads her period.

The pill can work wonders and make her feel a bit better about herself and her period.

The Gp can prescribe a slightly stronger painkiller that would be relevant for her age as you dont want her "doped up" but at the same time it really isnt fair she is in so much pain. A muscle relaxant may help too.

I have dreadful periods, sometimes can barely move, I do have PCOS though so I know the cause and how to manage it. It may be worthwhile to ask if she could have some sort of muscle relaxant to help with the pain too? I have recently been prescribed Spasmonal, mainly used for treating IBS but my GP says is now reccommended for heavy painful periods and I have to say I think it does help, I do take very strong painkillers too though.

It also may be worthwhile having her Iron levels checked as if she is bleeding heavily and is so young this could become a problem.

I really would never wish heavy painful periods on anyone, especially one so young! Your GP can help.

Hope your DD's cycle gets easier.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 26-Sep-09 09:14:24

Hi glasgowlass

I have read your comments with interest.

I had very painful periods from my late teens (the sort that painkiilers only gradually took the edge off, the pain that seemingly had no middle or end) till my early 30s and in my case anyway endometriosis was the underlying cause. I also have PCOS too; this in my case caused the irregularity of periods.

Many GPs are still to my mind ignorant of endometriosis and what it can do.

In your case I would be seeking a gynae referral as well, the cause needs to be properly determined. I would put a crisp £5 note on it that PCOS is not to blame for your heavy and painful periods.

ABitWrong Sat 26-Sep-09 09:21:49

Having bad day, can't post intelligently.
But everything so much appreciated and advice taken on board xx

glasgowlass Sat 26-Sep-09 09:40:52


Thanks for your comments, really appreciate your time as I always read your posts with interest.

I have been to see my GP recently, who suggested going back on the pill as a hormonal remedy to my problem. I turned this down as last time I was on the pill (dianette) it did help with the pain but took 2 years for my periods to return to some sort of "normailty" afterwards.(we would like to TTC no2 at some point and dont want to put myself at anymore of a disadvantage) I have taken matters into my own hands and have contacted my local fertility unit (where I had IUI, which had to be cancelled twice due to OHSS and was due to start IVF the month I fell pregnant naturally), anyway they will see me without GP referral as I have case file there with a view to further investigations and possible prescription of Clomid.

My history is long, so short version is this.
Aged 21 told by GP I was "probably going through early onset menopause" due to irregularity of cycle, referred to sub fertility unit who diagnosed PCOS(I dont have typical symptoms, other than cycle problems, ie no acne, stray hairs or weight problems). They prescribed clomid, 50mg, which did regulate cycle and after 2 years there referred to local ACS unit who took over my care. From initial consultation with GP to me falling pregnant naturally took 8 long, hard years. My GP admits that this is not a specialty area of hers and as she is the only GP in the practice I couldnt get a second opinion. She didnt even know the cut off age for referral to ACS unit and I had to find it out for her (incidentally it is referral before patients 38th birthday)! My periods have gone back to being very irregular, heavy when I do get them (possibly TMI but I can go through 2 super tampax in an hour) and I know I am not ovulating, hence why GP wanted me to go on pill to hormonally treat problem.

Anyway, I am just waiting for new appointment to arrive and will hopefully have in depth testing and another laparoscopy, last one was in 2002 and it confirmed PCOS, no endometriosis was detected then but I do feel something has changed, just feel shocked that I had to take matters into my own hands to get this appointment.
I have been prescribed Kapake for the past 7 years and while it does take the edge off the pain, it does not take it away completely, makes it more managable for me. I just feel that NO WOMAN OR GIRL should have to suffer with periods such as mine and do agree that some GP's are very ignorant to underlying causes and very quick to dish out analgesia without trying to get to the root cause. That is why I always advise that problems such at the OP's DD require further investigation.

Thanks so much for your advice Attila, hopefully I can get to the cause because like you, I do feel there is something else going on with me.

ladylush Sat 26-Sep-09 09:51:52

Ponstan40 (mefanamic acid) is good for cramps. I was initally px the pill when I was 15 but at 23 decided I did not want to take chemicals any more so gp px ponstan. It worked really well imo. Not sure if they will px for children - worth checking. I also think they should explore cause of heavy periods but all too often gps dismiss it as a problem which will resolve itself in time. I remember being told it would be fine once I'd had a baby hmm I was only 15 at the time and I didn't have my first child til I was 32!

whomovedmychocolate Sat 26-Sep-09 12:18:30

Agree GPs can be useless with period problems though I find if you go armed with diaries and background info they tend to be more helpful. Exercise and weight loss often helps with bad periods btw.

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