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Teen period woes

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#1 amdirel

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:22 PM

My 14yo DD has had her period for about 6 months. She has commented several times that she thinks they are heavy. She also says they last about 8 days at least. She gets period pain and has had a couple of days off school because of it. She's been asleep all afternoon because she said she woke several times last night with cramps and had to get up and have nurofen. Also last night at ballet she said she had changed her pad just before she left the house, then about 45mins into class her friend let her know that she had leaked onto her ballet tights. She said she went to the loo and the whole pad was drenched to every edge. It was a regular pad, she said she didn't want to wear a super because she was in a leotard. This was day 1.5 of her period, so the heaviest time I guess.

A couple of noteworthy points-
-she does have anxiety, particularly re her health and body. So any symptoms she has, she feels x1000. It's definitely not that I don't believe her, it's just hard sometimes to judge the severity of things. Though the bleeding at ballet seems really heavy, right?

- I have a mirena so I haven't had a period for about 13 years, so I feel like a bit of a fraud trying to give her advice lol. Plus I think my periods were pretty standard anyway, so I'm generally pretty clueless about heavy/painful periods.

So I need advice!
Does it sound like her periods are a bit worse than the usual?
What can she do for cramps?
What can she do to protect against leakage? She's tried tampons but can't quite get the hang of them yet.
Does she need to go to the doctor? If so, what can she expect there? (I know she'll want all the details if I suggest it).
I was talking to my work friend today and she said she really wished her mum took her to the doctor as a teen, rather than letting her suffer through it until she took herself as an adult.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:26 PM

I would definitely take her to the doctor. I don’t know what to expect but I think it models good self/healthcare.

#3 MsLaurie

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:31 PM

8 days is a long period. And waking multiple times a night is bad cramps.

Is she tracking with an app or something so she’s sure of dates? Might be useful to track for a couple of months, as a doctor will want that info.

#4 Blossom11

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:32 PM

My daughter was put on the pjll around 15 for heavy periods.  Have you looked into period pants - thinx, modibodi type which she could use with a pad.

My dd uses ponstan as a painkiller and a heatpack for cramps.  You need to.do this regularly though cause it was hard to get the pain down once it was bad.

#5 Jersey Caramel

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:33 PM

What if you got her some period underwear (Modibodi, Thinx etc) and then she can use a pad in them as well,  to protect against leakage.

I would definitely take her to the doctor,  but it may be most useful if she keeps a diary of her next period. I.e. date, pain level, painkillers taken,  flow (size/type/ number of pads) so that there's a bit of data there for the dr to use to assess if it is out of the normal range.

#6 zenkitty

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:34 PM

I would take her to a good GP. That does sound heavy, and it would not be in her best interests for her to drop sport because of it.

It may be that there are medications that can help, but only the GP can go through what the options might be and what is most appropriate for her.

#7 LoveMyMuffins

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:40 PM

I had heavy periods. Think extra Long pads, plastic sheet when sleeping to prevent staining. Nightmare. I was diagnosed with adenomyosis in my early 30s.

A GP with gynae background might be good!

Also menstrual undies as backup on period days?


#8 400

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:44 PM

Some great advice here already.

Just wanted to add that I was put on the pill as a teen for heavy periods. My mother was not a great one all round but when I told her I was struggling with it she said “we can’t  control everything, but we can control this!”

Even though some people brush off heavy periods as on the spectrum of normal, which it can be (especially in the first few years) it can also cause anaemia and secondary problems related to that (fatigue being the main one) and interfering with life in general.

I would definitely take her to a good GP and discuss the best options. For pain relief NSAIDs (nurofen, voltaren, naprogesic, ponstan) will be the most effective and can be used regularly (with food!) as a preventative before it gets really bad.

Good luck, I really feel for your poor DD x

#9 amdirel

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:51 PM

Thanks for the great advice so far! Very helpful. I'll get her to keep a diary/app, that's a great idea.

She does have a pair of modibodi briefs and shorts, which she wears sometimes, but she's worried they may not necessarily help as she may wick through the edging, as she said her flow tends to go the full width of the pad straight away, rather than go the length of the pad, if that makes sense.
Plus if she wore a pad plus period undies, would I need to buy her pads with no wings?

#10 Islander

Posted 26 November 2019 - 07:55 PM

I second taking her to a GP to discuss it all, but on days one and two of my period, I would soak through a regular pad in an hour. But I never had bad cramps, and periods were 5 days. I managed it with tampon + pad, until I discovered that menstrual cups held much more in my early 20s. Not sure I’d have been game for one at 14 though.

#11 Steggles66

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:00 PM

Yes, agree with all the above but would just like to add that I  was on the pill for heavy and painful periods as a teen. It helped to a certain extent but I wish that I'd had a mirena inserted but for some unknown reason gps seem reluctant to suggest it. So perhaps keep that in mind if need be.

#12 gruidae

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:07 PM

Definitely see a doctor and don't take "some girls just have bad periods, some girls find the pill helps"as an answer like I did at that age. Ask for someone who will run tests and refer to an endocrinologist to see what's actually going on.

The pill can have huge side effects for some girls with certain hormonal profiles - I had undiagnosed oestrogen dominance for years without knowing it, so when I was prescribed the pill to help with periods in my teens, it basically gave me hyperemesis gravidarum and I went from being a slightly too skinny girl to an emaciated girl during that little 6 month experiment. Also, another vote for Ponstan over Nurofen for that type of pain.

#13 Mollyksy

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:07 PM

Oh the memories. I had heavy painful periods and finally had my first endo op at 20. I flooded pads regularly but no one offered any other options so it was wads of toilet paper, sleeping on a towel and having a jumper always for tying around the waist.

I did end up buying applicator tampons, tampax, as a young teen on advice of a friend. Do they still make these? They were so much better to get the right position. And I used a tampon and a pad. And if period underwear had been invented then I would have added that into the mix!

I think it sounds heavy. I'm not sure what the dr would do but the pill might be an option.

Make sure she is eating with nurofen too. Or her tummy might get irritated.

Edited by Mollyksy, 26 November 2019 - 08:08 PM.

#14 400

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:13 PM

View PostSteggles66, on 26 November 2019 - 08:00 PM, said:

Yes, agree with all the above but would just like to add that I  was on the pill for heavy and painful periods as a teen. It helped to a certain extent but I wish that I'd had a mirena inserted but for some unknown reason gps seem reluctant to suggest it. So perhaps keep that in mind if need be.

I think the idea of a mirena would be very confronting for a 14 year old.

Even the mini pill (progesterone only) should have some flow-lessening effect if there is concern about using the combined pill, it just has to be taken more regularly and for longer to get the same effect.

#15 Lifesgood

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:17 PM

Gosh I couldn’t believe it when I saw this thread! I wondered if I had posted without realising it! Today I had to pick up DD 13 from school as she had vomited due to period cramps. She has also had her period for around 6 months. They have just this month become painful and heavier. She has leaked a couple of times. Her pattern is turning out exactly like mine ☹️ So I expect she will need to go on the pill at some point in order to not miss too much school.

I think it is within the range of normal though.

#16 .Jerry.

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:17 PM

My daughter got her period at 10. They were very heavy and more than a week long.
After a year or so of trying to wait and see, we got referral to gynaecologist.
She was put on the pill. First dosage was t enough to change things much. Upped dose. She’s now almost 14 and takes pill continuously to avoid period.  Next year doctor will consider mirena.

DD is a dancer too and heavy period hard to manage in a leotard.

#17 Ellie bean

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:29 PM

I really wish my mum had taken me to the doctor as a teen, please take her

#18 Murderino

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:31 PM

Mine have always been light but can only echo PPs to please take her to a doctor, my 44 year old sister finally just mentioned her very heavy periods to me recently. Thanks to EB I banged on about seeing a doctor and they found fibroids and she’s had an op and Mirena.

She’s suffered for 30 years as we just didn’t talk about it when I was a teen - beyond the fact it would/had happened.

#19 seayork2002

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:34 PM

I would take her to the doctor now (well as soon as you get an appointment not this second)

I used to have to have 2 pads and still had big issues with it showing

Edited by seayork2002, 26 November 2019 - 08:50 PM.

#20 chicken_bits

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:35 PM

PPs have had some excellent advice.

I just wanted to add to please get the GP/specialist to look for a potential underlying cause rather than putting her on the pill (or something else) to treat symptoms.

I know of far too many women my age who were put on the pill as a teen for heavy bleeding and pain only to get to TTC and have trouble because when coming off the pill it turned out they had PCOS or endometriosis or something else that not only caused the heavy bleeding and pain but has made conception difficult.

I'd like to think that we know more now than to just dismiss something as this is normal when it is potentially something more serious that can be managed if detected early.

Edited by chicken_bits, 26 November 2019 - 08:35 PM.

#21 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:40 PM

A GP might consider a few options - the daily contraceptive pill, the 3-month injection (depo provera), the implant (Implanon) - before considering the hormonal IUD.

I would also recommended a tampon with pad/period pants. Or a menstrual cup.  I think Tampax (with applicator) are pretty good for new users as it makes it much easier to find the right position.

But yes, definitely track what's going on each time and see a GP for further investigation.

#22 Daffy2016

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:43 PM

I had heavy periods as a teen, causing iron deficiency - only I never realised they were heavy until I was in my 20s and diagnosed with iron deficiency.

After 10 years on the pill they’re much better than they were, even now I’m off it.

Libra ultra thin good nights are good - long but not thick and absorb heaps. I always used to leak with ordinary pads but these gave me peace of mind!

#23 Babetty

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:48 PM

View Postamdirel, on 26 November 2019 - 07:51 PM, said:

She does have a pair of modibodi briefs and shorts, which she wears sometimes, but she's worried they may not necessarily help as she may wick through the edging, as she said her flow tends to go the full width of the pad straight away, rather than go the length of the pad, if that makes sense.
Plus if she wore a pad plus period undies, would I need to buy her pads with no wings?

Just on this, I found the flow was more likely to go "over the edges" in a pad with wings than in one with no wings. The wings seemed to encourage wicking.

So perhaps try the modibodi with no wings (while of course also going to the doctor to try and reduce it).

#24 rosie28

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:49 PM

She could wear a pad with wings with the period undies, though it would be less necessary. As backup I think they’d be great and provide her with peace of mind. I wish they’d been around when I was a teenager, they’d have been good for ballet. I’d be off to the GP too, her periods sound heavy and it’s important that she learn that her pain and discomfort is to be taken seriously.

For tampons try the Tampax brand with applicators. They’re much easier to use than standard tampons. Also perhaps some cloth pads to add to the rotation- an 8 day period using disposable pads might leave her with some skin sensitivity which isn’t very nice in that area.

#25 PrincessPeach

Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:54 PM

100% take her to the GP. I was put on the pill at 16 due to horrific period pain - magical drug.

But i also agree with a PP about getting the cause investigated. I have had 2 cousins diagnosed with endometriosis. My cousin was finally diagnosed when her apendiix was removed (it was covered in it), the second cousin due to eerily similar period pains & mentioning it to her very switched on GP.

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