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To be shocked at teacher telling DD to 'hold in' period.

727 replies

yaela123 · 11/12/2017 18:41

DD is 15 and her school have a no going to the toilet during lesson time rule, which I completely agree with on the whole as I know how disruptive it can be if people are constantly in and out, and how everyone just uses it as an excuse to bunk off (I am a teacher too - very different environment though)

Only exception is if you have a medical note from a doctor.

Today in one of her lessons DD says she could feel that she really needed to change her pad, she was getting quite worried about it leaking. She eventually asked the (male) teacher if she could go to the loo.

Teacher: No, you know the rules
DD: I really need it.
Teacher: What did I just say?
DD: It's a girl problem...
Teacher: What do you mean?
DD: Umm... I'm on my period
Teacher: Break is only in half an hour, hold it in til then

Obviously those aren't the exact words said but she says it's pretty accurate.
DD is quite shy so did just wait til break (no leakage btw).

She doesn't seem overly bothered but AIBU to be pretty shocked at him telling her to hold it in? Surely even men have some basic idea that it doesn't work like that?

OP posts:
MissTeri · 11/12/2017 19:16


I used to have (and still do occasionally) the most fucking horrific periods, so much so that I was on the pill to regulate them from aged 12. I would bleed for up to 2 weeks at a time very heavily, very very painful and often would leak/flood.

I remember my male friend letting me have a go on his bike, I rode it around the block and felt a gush - I returned the bike and rushed indoors. When I come out someone pointed out a 'stain' on the bike and they all accused me of shitting myself and of course the fact I had rushed off to the toilet so quickly afterwards meant they believed it!! I was mortified but just denied all knowledge of the stain, not sure at the time if it was worse to have them think I'd shit myself or that I'd bled everywhere!!

I can still remember the absolute fear of having to stand up after lesson and giving a quick glance at the chair to make sure I hadn't leaked onto it. When I was on my period it was a constant fear - that I would flood. It didn't help that fucking Bodyform and the likes had women prancing around on TV all carefree horseriding and cartwheeling whilst I could barely sit for a two hour period without blood leaking everywhere.

Those of you who can't/won't believe it just think yourselves damn lucky you've never had to dea with it. It's fucking awful as a grown woman but ten times worse as a teenager.

WhatALoadOfBaubles · 11/12/2017 19:17

I actually think you can hold menstrual blood in to some degree by tightening your pelvic floor muscles

I can't. Even before DC I couldn't.
It doesn't need repeating really, but a heavy flooding 5 minute gush is not the same as bleeding heavily and constantly; menstruation is not comparable to a serious wound!

LooksBetterWithAFilter · 11/12/2017 19:18

It is no wonder women find it difficult to be believed when they seek medical advice about their periods when so many women think that because it doesn't happen to them it can't be true. Hmm

My periods are erratic at best, always on time but sometimes very light and only last 2 or 3 days sometimes very heavy and I can't be too far from the toilet on the first day and last the full 5 days. It is absolutely possible to leak in a few minutes it isn't about it being particularly heavy either it is a sudden gush that the sanitary towel or tampon doesn't have time to soak up before it leaks out the sides.

WhatALoadOfBaubles · 11/12/2017 19:18

Oops and YANBU OP. What an ignorant thing to say.

Mumof56 · 11/12/2017 19:19

She says it was pretty obvious to him that she was on her period

what are the obvious signs she is on her period? Does she have it wrote across her for head?

I can imagine that is much worse for a heavy person

is the dd a "heavy person"? Hmm

yaela123 · 11/12/2017 19:19

I don't think she does have especially heavy periods though - but it would have been about 3 hours since she had changed her pad (when she left home). I'm sure she will be more vigilant about changing just before lessons after this!

I think I will drop him an email. He's a shit teacher anyway but that's a story for a different day

OP posts:
Iprefercoffeetotea · 11/12/2017 19:19

she must have some idea of how long she needs to go between pad changes

Yes because we all have really regular, reliable periods where the blood comes out exactly on time!

I am always amazed at the lack of empathy about periods on MN given most contributors are women.

We are not all the same. Some women have 3 day periods and need one pad a day. Others have 14 day periods and have days when they can barely move from the loo, their flow is so heavy. And all shades inbetween.

And it is completely inappropriate for a man to have any sort of opinion on whether a woman/girl on her period needs to go to the loo or not.

I would definitely be having words in the OP's shoes. I don't care about "some" girls messing around and pretending they need the loo. I care much more than no woman or girl leaks because she couldn't get access to the loo when she needed it. It is humiliating and may have a lasting effect on their confidence.

I would also tell my dd to just go and tell me later so I could deal with it.

C8H10N4O2 · 11/12/2017 19:19

@Penggwn I can't help what I do and don't think is credible

You can help what you do about it. This kind of sudden gush-stop pattern is not particularly rare, so if your pupils include girls of menstruating age please consider that they don't all lie about this and at some point one of girls who suffer from this may well be in your class.

Sunnydays365 · 11/12/2017 19:19

I'd be complaining too. In fact I have told my daughter if she ever feels like she needs to go to the loo and the teacher says no,if she is so desperate then just go! 15 year old girls do not.need to be explaining themselves to anybody about their period or toilet habits. Some teachers are just bloody control freaks! in the workplace we don't have to ask to go to the toilet. Yes some kids take the Mick but that's been the case since the year dot. Even as a fully grown adult periods can gush and it's not pleasant.

WonderLime · 11/12/2017 19:20

I'm on the fence about this. On the one hand, if she needed to change it desperately then she should be excused from class.

However, she actually was able to wait so it wasn't desperate. And there will be lots of times in the future where she will have to preplan and manage her period without being able to access a toilet. I will often have to be in lengthy presentations that I can't just leave half way through, or be on public transport - there will be occasions like that for your DD.

Plus she has had her periods for 3 years now, so should have a reasonable understanding of whether she'd need to change her pad before lesson and do so to avoid disruption (I'm guessing she didn't).

Sparklingbrook · 11/12/2017 19:20

I can imagine that is much worse for a heavy person

I took this to mean 'a person who experienced heavy periods', nothing to do with weight.

PegLegAntoine · 11/12/2017 19:21

Going through a pad that quickly doesn't mean dangerous blood loss, people aren't necessarily saying they go through one in five minutes then another then another. Periods can be really uneven, it might be that you have normal light bleeding for hours and then a sudden unpredictable gush or clot type thing, then back to normal. But it still means you go through a pad and leak. Mine used to be like that before my middle pregnancy

Blahblahblahzeeblah · 11/12/2017 19:21

Ideally think some people here are forgetting what a nightmare teenagers can be. Plenty of girls in my class would try to use their period to their advantage. Claim they were in dire need of the bathroom when they weren't at all. I think his hold it in is probably a stock response to all toilet requests. If a girl is likely to have issues with the toilet policy then a doctor's note would do the trick according to the OP.
I do feel bad for your daughter that she found herself in this situation but I wouldn't be going after the teacher. It's a difficult thing for the school to manage. They've obviously struggled with students messing around during toilet trips and that's why this policy is in place.

C8H10N4O2 · 11/12/2017 19:21

OP: one to take up with the pastoral head of your DD's year. If only for his ignorance on basic biology. They can issue appropriate guidelines.

RobertPostschild · 11/12/2017 19:21

Pengggwn I flood a towel too, within 5 - 10 minutes if I get a gush. Doesn't happen often but it absolutely can and does happen. Apparently, if you are bleeding heavily then your body cannot make enough anti-clotting agent to keep up with demand, so the blood forms clots which then come out as gushes. Frightened the bejeesus out of me recently when it started to me now that I am peri-menopausal.

RidingWindhorses · 11/12/2017 19:21

It is no wonder women find it difficult to be believed when they seek medical advice about their periods when so many women think that because it doesn't happen to them it can't be true


You'd think they'd have some awareness of how menstruation can be for other women?

Sparklingbrook · 11/12/2017 19:21

is Penggwn a teacher? Shock I missed that bit.

PersianCatLady · 11/12/2017 19:21

Our PE teachers said that too.

I was pissed off when I leaked in the pool

Iprefercoffeetotea · 11/12/2017 19:21

what are the obvious signs she is on her period?

telling him it was girl issues and so she needed the loo. How much more telegraphing do you need if you are teaching teenage girls?

Those of you who can't/won't believe it just think yourselves damn lucky you've never had to dea with it. It's fucking awful as a grown woman but ten times worse as a teenager

This. And mine aren't even that bad compared with some of the accounts I've read on MN, but I've definitely been in a situation where I have to worry if I have stains on my clothes or my chair. Sometimes when I am in the lounge at home, I put a thick hoody on the sofa to sit on.

RidingWindhorses · 11/12/2017 19:21

It's actually quite shocking.

elfycat · 11/12/2017 19:22

I've worked in operating theatres for years and the things we do to stop heavy bleeding (endometrial ablation is not for the faint hearted) so it is a real and recognised medical condition. It's been said on here but a quick google of menorrhagia might help, and even if it's not to that level heavy bleeding is a real problem for many.

As a student nurse I used a pink lillet tampon and a near maternity sized pad and an hour later was soaked through both and my jeans. It wasn't every day, or every period but it did happen.

Now as I approach the menopause I have the most almighty bleeds, occasionally. I went from spotting lightly to my leggings being soaked down to my knees having just stood up from a cream sofa Shock. I have a radar key on me in case of these moments as I'm going to need the privacy and space of the toilet; and the sink to sort it out. I carry spare underwear with me all the time, but have had to dash into supermarkets to buy the first thing that'll fit.

Just because something isn't in your realm of experience doesn't make it not real. This doubt is weirdly common on MN.

WillowWept · 11/12/2017 19:22

Over the years I have learnt that those who are not prone to flooding have no comprehension of just how heavy some women’s periods can be.

I could easily flood a towel in ten mins especially if I’ve been sitting down for a bit.


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WhatWouldGenghisDo · 11/12/2017 19:23

I'm a bit surprised that there are adult women on this thread who have never experienced a sudden gush and leakage but of course I believe them.

I'm completely amazed that there are women on this thread who disbelieve other women's' menstrual experience!

Blackteadrinker77 · 11/12/2017 19:23

sparklingbrook- You're right, I meant heavy as in period not a persons weight.

Apologies, I could have made that clearer

Notevilstepmother · 11/12/2017 19:24

I do feel sorry for your DD, but equally there are a lot of teenage girls that do try it on with male teachers particularly. I’d go higher with any complaints because if this is school policy he hasn’t much choice but to enforce it, or get told off himself. I used to let girls go if I thought they were genuine, but I never really cared much if senior management wanted to give me grief for something like that. Not every teacher feels able to stand up for the students in the face of these rules.

There are reasons why toilet breaks in lessons are discouraged (mainly bad behaviour and the latest fad in education of every single minute counts and must be used for important learning). However we seem to have lost the common sense approach.

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