tampon alternatives for 11 year old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-15-2013, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, my daughter just turned 11. She started her period six months ago and has been using cloth pads. We are running into the issue of wanting to go swimming when she has her period. From sheer luck so far it has not happened that she wants to go on a heavy flow day and she's managed to get away with it. But it will happen. 

 

I'm pretty sure she is too young for the Diva Cup and definitely not aware enough to stick to the learning curve to use it (I use one and love it). She does not want to use tampons because she is aware of the dangers of them, whether it is contamination from sprayed cotton or just the fact that our vaginas are made to be moist places and tampons can wreak havoc on that. She also has environmental concerns around them.

 

Other than the Diva, what options does she have? If we have to use a tampon for her, can anyone recommend something safe and earth-friendly (if such a thing exists)?


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#2 of 21 Old 07-15-2013, 10:05 PM
 
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I use organic cotton tampons... can't think of the brand name off the top of my head, sorry... would she consider trying them? 

 

ETA: Natracare! I also use their panty liners...

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#3 of 21 Old 07-15-2013, 10:59 PM
 
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Perhaps a sea sponge tampon? 

 

Really good sea sponge review


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#4 of 21 Old 07-15-2013, 11:18 PM
 
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I never used tampons as a teen.  I don't think I used one until I was in my 20's, and then I didn't like it, so I didn't use them again until I was in my 30's.  For me, though, it was just the weirdness of inserting something into my vagina, I think.  I agree a cup would probably be challenging at this age.

I actually found I could go swimming without anything as long as it wasn't the heaviest day, although as a child I didn't have the same kind of flow I have now, it was more just steady, then tapering off.  It took me awhile to realize this, but if I went to the bathroom before getting in the pool, something about the water kept it in. I think I did wear a pad even so, though. Or maybe shorts.

 

There are actually resusable tampons too, made with organic cotton or hemp and sold on Etsy, but I like the idea of the sea sponge.  I don't know what the environmental implications of those are, 

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#5 of 21 Old 07-17-2013, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. Since her flow is only really significant on the first two days, perhaps we will just luck out and be able to work around it. She doesn't take lessons, but she does enjoy a public swim pretty regularly. 

 

The sea sponges look like they may have some mess issues, as do cups. I have no problem with that and my daughter isn't grossed out by her body in the least, but she is Asperger's and already has horrible personal hygeine habits. The idea of having to go into the bathroom after her and mop blood up off the sink or even the floor does not appeal to me. 

 

I guess for now we will just work around it until she is older and more mature. Thanks!


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#6 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 05:29 PM
 
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I just wanted to reiterate that your menstrual flow stops when you enter the water. My Mom taught me this, and it really is true. She could go to the bathroom right before swimming and then as soon as she gets out of the pool put on a pad.

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#7 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 07:30 PM
 
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I just wanted to reiterate that your menstrual flow stops when you enter the water. My Mom taught me this, and it really is true. She could go to the bathroom right before swimming and then as soon as she gets out of the pool put on a pad.

 

This doesn't work for me.  At all.  Trust me, extremely embarrassing teenager moment for me.

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#8 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 08:30 PM
 
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I just wanted to reiterate that your menstrual flow stops when you enter the water. My Mom taught me this, and it really is true. She could go to the bathroom right before swimming and then as soon as she gets out of the pool put on a pad.

 

This never worked for me either, at least, I'm more then capable of bleeding all over my bathtub, and I don't see why it would be any different in a community pool.

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#9 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 08:37 PM
 
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I just wanted to reiterate that your menstrual flow stops when you enter the water. My Mom taught me this, and it really is true. She could go to the bathroom right before swimming and then as soon as she gets out of the pool put on a pad.

 

This isn't true for me.


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#10 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 08:57 PM
 
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What about a softcup?  http://softcup.com/

 

I used them when they were called "instead".  I think they are easier to use than a Diva.  I think that use in the pool would be ideal.

 

I can't imagine trying to swim without any protection during my period. Besides the embarrassment, there's also the whole health hazard thing, and the probable closing of the public pool for a day should a leak be seen by others.


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#11 of 21 Old 09-07-2013, 10:08 PM
 
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If a diva cup is what your goal for her is then I would explain how to use it and give her the pamphlet that comes with it and see how it goes on a non swimming day first. I thought my DD was to young to be able to properly use a tampon but it really wasn't hard at all for her to do with a brief explanation and the pamphlet.
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#12 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the softcup info! I had no idea such a thing existed. I think it would be the perfect "starter" for working up towards a Diva Cup.

 

One_girl, I will keep that in mind. thank you!


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#13 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 05:27 PM
 
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I would caution you with the instead soft cup- it is HUGE.  I mean, enormous- in terms of diameter.  It sits above the pubic bone, so there is ample room for it internally, but it is intimidating if you are just looking  at it one of the xs cups might be a less scary intro, and they also usually have a stem which would make retrieval easier.  The instead requires hooking a finger round the rim and pulling it down from behind the pubic bone to remove, not difficult if you are pretty comfortable with your body, but I think it would be tricky for a tween (at least more tricky than something with a ring or stem for removal. )

My daughter figured out tampons on her own with the pamphlet, and has asked now for a cup.  I'll show her different fold options, hand her the pamphlet, and wish her the best.  She'll figure it out, and then if she finds a fit problem with that cup, we will order a replacement after she has a chance to try it out and figure out it if feels too long, too stiff, too soft, too- whatever.  Personally, I find most cups too long, and though I have given birth vaginally several times, I do better with a 'size 1' cup rather than those designed for after childbirth. I can't stand the stem, so I cut it off, and frankly, even that little bit of pokiness is annoying so I flip it inside out.  You really have to figure it out as you go. 

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#14 of 21 Old 09-09-2013, 05:44 PM
 
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We're not there yet so we have not had to figure it out (dd is 9). 

 

I had to chime in and add that my flow has never stopped in the water. Why in the world would this be the case? Blood is flowing out, especially aided by movement. All of those things stay the same even when you're swimming. Taking a bath also does not stop it. 

 

I am a diva cup fan and hope that dd will use one eventually. I didn't know you could be too young? I guess I should look into it. 


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#15 of 21 Old 09-10-2013, 06:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

I just wanted to reiterate that your menstrual flow stops when you enter the water. My Mom taught me this, and it really is true. She could go to the bathroom right before swimming and then as soon as she gets out of the pool put on a pad.

 

this has been true for me and dd. so dont rule it out. 

 

i dont know why that's true. it will never happen in a bathtub, but in a large body of water - my flow shuts down. i wonder if its related to pressure or gravity in water or even the temperature. i just happened to discover it as a teen when i went on a school trip part of which was in the ocean on the opposite course. the first day i didnt go in. but then i couldnt stand it. we were in the water for 4 days (heavy period then) for at least 3 hours each time. and each time i never had a flow.

 

i have been in water frequently and every single time my flow has stopped. every. single. time. usually i stay in water for LONG periods of time - 5 to 6 hours esp. at the beach. so whether i am in water for half hour or many hours no flow. actually my flow would start a little later. not right away. even later if the water was cold and i was chilled. 

 

OP the diva cup or any other 'cup' - since you mention the ick factor does she mind getting her hands dirty? because you cant really practise in a 'dry' vagina. you should only practice when you are on the period. its because of this reason i am waiting for dd to get used to her periods before trying the cup. ick factor is big for dd. we have tried all sorts of pads, but dd is getting the burning sensation the reason why we are thinking of the cup. 


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#16 of 21 Old 09-10-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good tips about the Instead cup. Sounds like it won't be any easier than the Diva.

 

DD is definitely not worried about the "ick" factor, but I'm just not sure she will have the patience to try the Diva. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it, and on more than one occasion I ended up in pain because I had inserted it wrong and it had shifted. She may give up pretty quickly. 

 

Also, I'm just trying to wrap my head around getting something that big in there when the child is a virgin and hasn't had babies, etc. I was definitely not as familiar with that part of my body back then compared to as an adult, which is when I started using it. It's not like I can do it for her!

 

Anyways, I'm just wary of dropping $40 on something that she may not be willing to learn to use. We'll keep chugging along, so far so good. 


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#17 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 09:30 AM
 
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My 15.5 year old asked to try a menstrual cup. We visited a website (sorry, can't remember the name, but I'm sure it's googleable) that compared all of the different cups available in terms of size, flexibility, etc. We chose the smallest, most flexible one we could find, and she tried it several times and could not get it to fit. She couldn't get it in at all, and she has been wearing tampons on and off for a few years now. I'm hoping she continues to try as she gets a little older because she really wants that option to work, but at this point it's a no. I'm not sure I could imagine an 11 year old being able to do it, but ladyparts do come in all shapes and sizes, so I'm sure there are some young girls who could make it work.

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#18 of 21 Old 11-15-2013, 01:41 PM
 
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im 13 years old and i got my period at 6. i started using tampons at 7. ur daughter will be fine. help her put it in the first time, show her the manual, and then yay youre done
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#19 of 21 Old 05-22-2014, 05:32 AM
 
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I wouldn't suggest cup things at this age. I tried using Instead soft cups and a small diva cup as a teen and things just didn't fit. My body didn't have enough room or "give" yet. Now that I am a mama of even just one, I tried it and really like the Instead cups. I remember wrestling with them as an older teen and thinking "this is harder than losing my virginity was." Not an experience I'd have put up with at 11!!!! 


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#20 of 21 Old 05-22-2014, 08:40 AM
 
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On the odd occasion that she wants to swim and she is on her period (the two cant line up that much), use organic cotton, applicator free (better for the environment) tampons. I use a diva cup, but when I go camping or hiking I use tampons. There are a couple of brands to choose from. At her age it really is the most logical option, because cups are huge for an 11 year old. 

 

The applicator free brand I have is called Organyc.


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#21 of 21 Old 05-22-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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By the way, for the committed preteen, I was just researching for myself and found that MeLuna Cups carry "mini" sizes that are like a big rubber thimble for the younger set. It might be worth looking at, since what I remember being most shocked by was their length. 


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