My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


DD refusing to use sanitary towels. Help.

43 replies

Tippytree · 07/09/2015 12:05

DD has just turned 11. She's a very clever, quite intense and private girl. A few months ago I began to suspect she had started her periods because suddenly more than half of her knickers disappeared within a few days. I then found several wads of toilet with heavy brown spotting on them.

I casually asked if she had started her periods and she denied it. I was a bit nonplussed and couldn't think what else to say.

The same thing happened a few weeks later. She virtually had no knickers, and then I found a pair stuffed behind something and they were heavily stained with blood. I casually asked her again. She again denied it and was really surly.

I calmly mentioned the stained knickers I'd found, she insisted they weren't hers ( they were). Again I was nonplussed. In the end I showed her where I keep the packs of sanitary towels (have 16 year DD) and told her to help herself 'if' she needed them at anytime.

Since then she has sometimes used them. But she's still clearly throwing away stained knickers and sometimes uses wadded toilet roll. She also refuses to carry any STs in her school just in case.

I just don'tdon't get it at all. I always keep plenty of supplies of STs in. I have never got cross at her and infact have been very low key because I know she's very private about such things. I bought her a discrete little bag to keep spare STs in, in her school bag. I have even bought her black pants to wear when she's on, so they won't show any staining so much.

I don't know what else to do? I can't keep buying packs of new knickers every month and I worry that she might get caught out at school.

Any advice very welcome. She will not talk to her older sister about it either, so there's no point suggesting that. Older DD was fine about using STs from the start by the way.

OP posts:
Whoknewitcouldbeso · 07/09/2015 12:12

Is probably stop asking her if she has started her periods and instead tell her you know she has and you need to have a chat with her about it.

I agree you can't keep buying new knickers each month and also she might be quite worried about it and actually want to talk. When I first started my periods were all over the place and also bloody painful!! I wouldn't have wanted to try and deal with it myself.

Mitzi50 · 07/09/2015 12:15

Will she use tampons?

DD has always used the small tampons with the applicator.

Is she still at primary? One of the things I had to discuss with her and sort out was disposal as the girl's toilets didn't have sanitary bins. Could it be the practical side that's worry your DD.

Maybe give her a book or leaflet which deals with this. I have done this with DS (about male puberty not periods) and he did read the stuff when I wasn't around.

sleepyhead · 07/09/2015 12:20

It sounds like she doesn't want this to be happening to her (don't blame her), so she's partly in denial, partly refusing to make any preparations - throwing away pants, using wads of toilet paper are all spur of the moment things.

Does she have any other issues around growing up and puberty that you can think of?

I agree that there's no point asking her if she's just going to lie - better to be matter of fact and give her as much information as possible to let her solve the problem herself if that's what she needs to do (eg different forms of protection, strategies for discreet disposal at home and school).

Ds1 (8) has a similarish issue around soiling - he hides pants/smelly clothes and no matter what we say or do the behaviour seems ingrained and he can't explain why at that moment he chooses to hide the pants rather than to just put them in the dirty washing basket. From reading posts on here, it's not that uncommon.

RhodaBull · 07/09/2015 12:21

Dd is a bit similar: I didn't make a big deal of things and just stock the bathroom drawers with STs, but still I find pants stuffed in the bin. Mind you, I remember when I was that age I was very awkward and embarrassed about the whole thing. It doesn't seem to matter how open/closed a parent is, some people are very private and probably many think that if they ignore the situation it will go away (hence hiding pants/denying things).

Thelushinthepub · 07/09/2015 12:26

Has she got access to cash of her own? I remember being that age and lack of cash always meant lack of privacy. A bit of cash and she could buy her own, in secret as and when she needs them

I don't think this is that strange tbh- it's a huge thing. She could be embarrassed/ scared/ putting her head in the sand over it all

EduCated · 07/09/2015 12:30

Agree with others on checking whether school has bins in the toilets, as she might be worrying about disposing of them, or having to use the teachers' toilet as used to happen at my primary (though I'd have hoped we'd moved on since then!)

Also, does she know that the knickers can be washed, that she doesn't need to throw them away? Might she also prefer black knickers, which don't show staining as much? And does she actually realise that it is her period, especially if it is brown?

Sounds daft, but I remember being confused when I get my first period, and didn't realise that's what it was at first, because I had expected the blood to be red like normal blood. Also, even though my lovely mum had several chats with me, I was confused and embarrassed to ask things like whether I needed to wear STs all the time, or just on my period Blush

Micah · 07/09/2015 12:39

I'd discuss tampons.

I hate, hate, hate pads. Hate the feel of them, the sensation of blood leaking out, the physical presence of them in my pants.

I used to do similar- wad up toilet roll, or avoid them.

Once I discovered tampons it was much better, as I could forget completely except when changing them.

WavingNotDrowning · 07/09/2015 12:50

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tippytree · 07/09/2015 17:00

Thank you everyone. I have offered her tampons, and she wouldn't even answer me just glared at me!

I have bought her black pants and suggested she wears them when she's on. Again she just ignored me. And because she refuses to carry STs in preparation, she gets a bit caught out each month so knickers get stained (then chucked/hidden).

I've reassured her I really don't mind washing them, it's not a problem.

She's just started secondary school so they do have the bins inside the loos. She is very sharp and clued up and had 2 very detailed lessons about puberty, so I don't think she's confused or anything.

It's just like she's determined to pretend it's not happening. It's so frustrating.

It's obvious that she just hates even the slightest mention of anything to do with periods.

OP posts:
NewLife4Me · 07/09/2015 17:05

I knew my dd would start early as there were signs and I was a young starter too.
So at 8.5 we had the discussion, she asked questions and I bought her towels, showed her how to use them and she had a practice herself.

One day aged 9 she told me she had one on, had a tummy ache and had started her periods.

However, I realised I musn't have got all my points across because she said she had squatted and not laid an egg yet. Grin

Talk to her, show her what to do and explain it may come through her knickers if she doesn't wear them nd she doesn't want this surely.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 07/09/2015 17:08

Just buy her a book (I'm sure someone can recommend). Buy her lots of multipacks of black pants. Lidded lined bin and babywipes for her bedroom and bathroom. Large stash of different types and brands of sanitary towels (avoid perfumes), Natracare are less plasticky. Maybe some kid suitable Tampax and some reusbale .towels to try too.

It can be a really big deal starting periods and dealing with it - I used to leak all the time and was utterlymortified about the whole thing. Just give her the equipment and space with her to deal with ithygenicallyjn her own time, be there for her, but don't badger her.

ItchyArmpit · 07/09/2015 17:13

Poor girl Sad I still can't bring myself to discuss periods with my dm, and I'm in my 30s....

Lessons about puberty don't tend to explain the really important stuff - like how to sneak a tampon into the girls' loos so you can change it, without taking your entire school bag in and letting EVERYONE know you're on. might be a good place to direct her.

EduCated · 07/09/2015 17:32

Poor girl, does sound like she just really wants to bury her head in the sand about it all!

As much as I'm loathe to suggest it, is it time to start getting tough about it, with consequences? It's a horrible thought given the situation, but I'm not sure what else you can do to get through to her Sad

EduCated · 07/09/2015 17:33

Could there be any friendship/teasing/bullying issues going on? Teased about having pads?

NerrSnerr · 07/09/2015 17:39

I was like this. I hated talking to my mum about periods and used to throw away my knickers. I felt happier buying the pads myself so I had control and never had to have awkward conversations.

SurlyCue · 07/09/2015 17:40

I would go with the "it will stain through your trousers/skirt at school and everyone will see on your chair" angle. If she is so private about it that thought should be enough for her to want to prevent it happening. Even if you dont direct it at her but engineer a conversation with older DD infront of younger DD saying about how when you first started periods you didnt know to use STs and your period soaked through onto your chair at school and everyone saw and you were mortified. So you used STs from then on and never leaked again.

Mrsjayy · 07/09/2015 17:43

My dd was the same at the same age i struggled like you with stainec pants toilet roll etc
i just said to her dd there is stuff in the bathroom use it if you like i also left some pads in her drawer with little bags for her to put the used ones in then left it
she hated the whole thing it was a shame she was so uncomfortable that she couldnt/wouldnt say anything. I just made sure i had plenty in the house on the shelf and left her to it,
she is a woman now and would rather chew her arm off than talk about periods. Dd2 is so different its a doodle talking to her about things,

ImperialBlether · 07/09/2015 17:45

Laughing so much here at laying an egg!

SurlyCue · 07/09/2015 17:45

Oh i would also give her a handful of coins to use in the machines at school just incase she decides she does want to use something some day. Also have lots of variety at home in whats available. I remember the first STs my mum gave me and they felt like nappies! So thick and the plastic backing on them rustled so you could hear it when i walked. I was loathe to wear them so i used my pocket money and bought what i thought were more teen friendly ones, left them in the bathroom cupboard and my mum took the hint and restocked as i needed them.

Mrsjayy · 07/09/2015 17:46

I also bought dd ST for teens was so long ago cant remember the brand a couple of tampons and some bodyform it was such a palva

Zucker · 07/09/2015 17:54

I'd say at 11 years old she just wants to pretend its not happening to her. Buy a pick and mix of towels and tampons and leave then in her underwear drawer. No point causing any more stress for her by confronting her. Buy lots of cheap pants she can have access to when she tosses the soiled ones.

The denial won't go on forever. I wonder if any of her friends have started or is she one of the first. Which could have a bearing on how she has reacted.

Good luck with it Tippytree, periods are a pain in the face sometimes.

wonkylegs · 07/09/2015 17:54

Could you try giving her something like Lillets Teen range and letting her have them in her room. This might make her feel like she's using her stuff rather than yours. They have a mixed towel/tampon starter pack( with leaflets aimed at her age) or just pads or tampons.
I'm sure that they are exactly the same as the adult ones just slightly slimmer and that the teen thing is a bit of a gimmick but kids tend to fall for gimmicks so it might be worth a try.


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

MyNameIsSuz · 07/09/2015 17:58

I was similar at that age - I was just so embarrassed, I just couldn't stand the thought that my stepdad or my brothers might find out, and if there were towels in the bathroom bin they definitely would have known. I couldn't even admit it to my mum in case she told them. A stash of pads and a little bin in my bedroom (which I emptied myself when the bins went out) were what I needed - not ideal but kept it secret. It was also a comfort thing, thinner pads and holding them on tight with two pairs of pants all helped.

Mrsjayy · 07/09/2015 17:59

Thats maybe what i got for dd the mixed range she ended up using the body form, my mum never discussed periods with me my gran bought me dr frigging whites were like i was wearing a nappy sigh

ApollO88 · 07/09/2015 18:01
link her to this lovely lass on youtube

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.