Period/Underwear ? UPDATE! post 95 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 113 Old 02-12-2008, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do those of you with teenage daughters do when you find bloody underwear in the laundry? It really grosses me out to be taking laundry out of the hamper and find really bloody (and I am not just talking a spot or two) underwear.

Yes, I have spoken to her about this (several times) and given her options of things to do.

dm
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#2 of 113 Old 02-12-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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Maybe you could have her try putting her underwear in one of those mesh laundry bags that are used for delicates. You (or she)could then toss the whole bag into the wash without having to touch anything individually.

For a while I had my kids sort their own laundry into individual baskest-White basket for whites, yellow for lights blue for darks etc. On their laundry day or the day I was doing a certain color they would just bring that color basket to the washer and dump it in. Honestly Dest is old enough that I'd have her doing some of her own laundry- at least her own delicates especially if she isn't being considerate about the hygeinic aspects of it. I'd make a certain day of the week her wash day and set restrictions on other activities she enjoys until at least she'd started the washing machine. From your other posts it doesn't sound like consideration for your feelings ( at this point) is going to motivate her to take care of her soiled laundry respectfully on her own.
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#3 of 113 Old 02-12-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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By the time I got my period, I had been doing all my own laundry for a couple years.

Show her how, and make her laundry her responsibility. When she runs out of clean clothes and underwear, she'll make the effort to do it on her own.
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#4 of 113 Old 02-12-2008, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once I did ask Desta to put her bloody underwear in a bag and then dump it into the washer before she went to school on the designated day.

When she came to me and complained of having no clean underwear, we searched her room and found a bag of moldy bloody underwear stuffed behind her toilet. :Puke

I am all for having her do her own laundry, but dh doesn't feel comfortable with that because we are trying to integrate her into the family and he feels that if she is the only one in the family for whom I don't do laundry, she will feel even more "outside." I don't really see it that way, so I continue to lobby for her to do her own laundry.

Keep your ideas coming, please!

dm
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#5 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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Maybe instead of doing ALL her laundry make her only responsible for the delicates and personal stuff.

Or teach her to rinse out her underwear if they get bloody so at least it doesn't just sit in a hamper.

Hope you can find a solution that works!!

It's good that she puts her clothes in the hamper though.....my adult DH can't even seem to do that

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#6 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I have this same problem with my daughter. She is 17 now and has had her period since she was 10. I've talked and talked to her about it and I just don't get it. How can you stand that feeling of dirty underwear? It's just so gross. I'll be honest with you, she is now starting to do not only her laundry, but the whole families because she won't stop with the bloody panties and no one else is going to touch them.
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#7 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 12:47 AM
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Why is she regularly getting bloody underwear? Is it happening when her period starts, and she's not aware? Or is she not using protection reliably? Or is her protection leaking?

This just rarely happens around our house.... a few small spots, maybe, but not really bloody.

And my daughter has also done her own laundry for many years, just as another data point for your husband... Maybe you could try to get your younger kids more involved in doing their own as well? Probably not the whole job, but parts of it... and then it wouldn't seem like Desta is the only one.

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#8 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Or teach her to rinse out her underwear if they get bloody so at least it doesn't just sit in a hamper.
Tried that, too.

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It's good that she puts her clothes in the hamper though.....my adult DH can't even seem to do that
This is a 50/50 shot. She is a laundry hoarder, and she has been known on more than 10 occasions to dump several loads of laundry into the hamper at once and then have a fit that her favorite shirt wasn't washed by the next day. I have told her that, if she puts her laundry in the hamper regularly, I am happy to do it for her, but if she hoards and dumps, she's on her own.

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Why is she regularly getting bloody underwear? Is it happening when her period starts, and she's not aware? Or is she not using protection reliably? Or is her protection leaking?
I am not really sure what the problem is. I have asked her on multiple occasions, and I get the standard, "I don't know" response (which, btw, is against the rules of her new therapy program ). I have bought her a plethora of different sizes and shapes of pads, and I have talked to her about the importance of changing frequently, and when she is home I even remind her (which really pisses her off, honestly), but it continues to happen. I am considering asking her best friend to talk to her about it, or our friend who takes her to church twice a month. Maybe we can all sit down and talk about it together.

I don't get my period because I have an IUD, but even when I did I used cloth pads, which Desta can't do. I have suggested both tampons and the Diva cup to Desta and she was completely horrified by both suggestions.

dm
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#9 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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I was really conscientious about rinsing mine out cos I didn't want them to stain, but especially when I first started, I wouldn't use the options my mother had cos I didn't like how they felt. The pads felt too bulky and tampons hurt, and I kinda wanted to pretend I didn't have it. So I'd go without as much as I could, use toilet paper, go to the bathroom a lot, and basically do anything to pretend that I could get away with using nothing. So my underwear was always soaked to the point of being ruined, til I finally asked my mom to help me get something that would work better.

It doesn't address your DD not washing them, but if they are getting SO bloody, is she not using protection, and is there a reason? Maybe she's uncomfortable with it and doesn't want to talk about it. Is there another option she'd be more willing to use?
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#10 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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If one makes a big deal out of it, it will likely continue to be a problem. I know as a kid I was totally embarassed to put my bloody underwear, rinsed or not, in the laundry. I took a tupperware and soaked them under my bed
Yeah, we can all guess how that turned out...
Anyway, there is a chance that after a while, she will find her rhythm with pad changing and being aware of the whole thing, or maybe this won't happen until college. who knows.... in the meantime can they just go in the wash? They'll be clean albeit stained...
If she's not being mindful, one slip up at school or in public---a leak-through--will do it for sure!
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#11 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
. I have suggested both tampons and the Diva cup to Desta and she was completely horrified by both suggestions.

dm

Does she have pads with "wings"? (Always is one brand that makes them.) Those are much easier on the underwear!

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#12 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 02:49 AM
 
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What do those of you with teenage daughters do when you find bloody underwear in the laundry? It really grosses me out to be taking laundry out of the hamper and find really bloody (and I am not just talking a spot or two) underwear.

Yes, I have spoken to her about this (several times) and given her options of things to do.

dm
I don't have any teenage daughters AND my not-yet-teenage daughter has not begun to menstruate.

Is menstrual blood the only thing about your family's laundry that grosses you out?

I was taught and then expected to do my own laundry before I had my first period. I was sufficiently bothered by the notion of wearing dirty clothing to be responsible for it, though.

I suspect that my kids might not be motivated by shame. I expect to do more teaching than I needed.
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#13 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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dharmamama.....................IMO if she is old enough to menestrate she is old enough to do laundry.
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#14 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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It wouldn't bug me at all. I would never bring it up, either. It's such a natural thing and I'd be so embarrassed/ashamed if someone brought that up to me.

Can she do her own laundry? Or, can she at least separate it and have it ready to be washed so you can just dump it in and not have to go through it?

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#15 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 03:15 AM
 
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Does she have pads with "wings"? (Always is one brand that makes them.) Those are much easier on the underwear!
They still leak.
I tried EVERYTHING as a teen, and only tampons worked. And the box asid not to use them a tnight. SO a tnight, I'd put down a plastic sheet on the bed, over my sheets. I wore plastic lined underwear, and the biggest pad I could find. I'd still get blood on the sheets sometimes.

My mom just washed all the laundry. However, we had no dryer, and no automatic wahser. She had a [protabel washer she put up to the sink, so she didn't want it used whenever during the day. So me doing laundry wasn't an option. I'd have much preferred to do my own, if we'd had a proper washer & dryer.
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#16 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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BTW, would she use cloth pads? I rarely get stains with them.

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#17 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW, would she use cloth pads? I rarely get stains with them.
No, she can't. She has HIV, and the best option for her (as we discussed with several of her healthcare providers) is something disposable.

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#18 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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what about a bucket of soapy water by her toilet? When she is having her period, you could set it up, she can drop them in there and at the end of the week, send her to fetch it and dump it in the wash.. this does not exlude her, prevents you from discovering them, and includes her in the process.

eta: furthermore, if she isnt putting her laundry in her basket regularly, I would send her x times a week to gather and bring it to the laundry room. I tell my 4 and 6 year old now to gather and put their laundry in their basket every couple of days, at least this way you aren't doing it yourself and if she gets upset you can simply tell her you will stop asking her to do it when she remembers on her own.
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#19 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It wouldn't bug me at all. I would never bring it up, either. It's such a natural thing and I'd be so embarrassed/ashamed if someone brought that up to me.
I'm sorry, I don't follow this line of reasoning. You would be embarrassed and ashamed if someone tried to help you figure out the best way to handle your period and care for your clothing? It's not like I came at with an attitude of "How disgusting! Why don't you do something about this??" I used to get my period, too. I know what it's like. I have leaked before. I'd really like to help her with it, and I'd also like to help her keep her underwear from being ruined. I was kind and sensitive about it. Yeah, periods can be embarrassing when you're 13, but ... you learn how to handle it appropriately.

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#20 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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OK, here's what you should do:

1. Tell her you are going to the store to buy her every size/type of pad you can find, get her some tampons, get her a diva cup, whatever. Tell her she's welcome to come along. At the same time buy her a bunch of new underwear, again she can come along and choose or she can just stay home and get what she gets. Put them in her room and be done with it.

2. Count out the number of panties and tell her here we are starting with this many and you need to keep track of how many you have.

3. Tell her that she will not have ANY underwear washed that are soaked in blood, she will need to rinse them and put them in the hamper, but if they are gross (IYO) and bloody they will get tossed. That's it. End of discussion.

4. Don't tell her you've thrown them out just go on with your lives.

5. When she runs out take her to the store and her HER buy herself new undies, again, count (just to keep track for arguments sake, everyone needs to have the same information) how many and start again.

Hopefully, over time you will see improvement. Quite frankly, her behavior with this problem seems awfully disrespectful. There is no reason for her to be this gross. How is she being enabled to behave this way?
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#21 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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Would brainstorming solutions to this in therapy be helpful? There might be some underlying issue that is causing her to not use pads (does she never use them or does her period start unexpectedly like it does for many teens?) or to not change them often enough to catch leaks. If she is supposed to use disposable products due to her HIV, is she putting you at risk by leaving her underwear in the hamper like that?
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#22 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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is she putting you at risk by leaving her underwear in the hamper like that?
In theory, yes she is, but in practice, I think the risk is pretty negligible. I just find it really gross to have bloody underwear hanging around and to have to handle bloody underwear. Menstrual blood may be the most natural thing in the world, but bloody underwear is still gross.

dm
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#23 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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You mentioned in an earlier post that she is in therapy already. Could this be brought up at therapy to as something to work on?

I like the idea of keeping a bucket of soapy water by her toilet so she can drop bloody underwaer into it as she takes them off. That is a good first step in solving the problem.
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#24 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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I had this problem with my dd once or twice. What I did was to call her downstairs immediately, hand her the underware and have her wash it out right then and there. After a couple of times of being interrupted in the middle of "doing something really important", she began to remember BEFORE I had to call her.

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#25 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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It wouldn't bug me at all. I would never bring it up, either. It's such a natural thing and I'd be so embarrassed/ashamed if someone brought that up to me.

Can she do her own laundry? Or, can she at least separate it and have it ready to be washed so you can just dump it in and not have to go through it?
I've never been bothered by it either. Some girls do have very heavy periods. We;ve had to change products and experiment. Dd no longer uses cloth, fi. My children sometimes to their own laundry and sometimes dh or I do laundry. That's a good thing to teach. Very handy! lol I wouldn't make a big deal out of it, however. It's just menstrual blood.

The hiding of the undies might mean she feels embarassed or uncomfortable. But that should pass as she becomes older. I'd remind her that it's OK and natural and not to worry. I keep Spray and Wash handy.
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#26 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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I'm sorry, I don't follow this line of reasoning. You would be embarrassed and ashamed if someone tried to help you figure out the best way to handle your period and care for your clothing? It's not like I came at with an attitude of "How disgusting! Why don't you do something about this??" I used to get my period, too. I know what it's like. I have leaked before. I'd really like to help her with it, and I'd also like to help her keep her underwear from being ruined. I was kind and sensitive about it. Yeah, periods can be embarrassing when you're 13, but ... you learn how to handle it appropriately.

dm
Of course, and sometimes it takes time. Maybe when you know she is having her period you can remind her or go to her room and give her the wet or mesh bag?

Maybe I am lax, but I never thought about having dd rinse her undeies before they are washed. I usually spray them if I notice and she does too(and we also have had to toss a couple of pairs here and there...I just never thought about it). I've also hung stained clothing in the yard in the sun...and/or used oxy clean. Honestly, as heavy as her periods are, I never felt grossed out by the clothing. I would be concerned with the hiding... that's a trickier issue.
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#27 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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I like the idea of keeping a bucket of soapy water by her toilet so she can drop bloody underwaer into it as she takes them off. That is a good first step in solving the problem.
I like that! I am going to do that.
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#28 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would be concerned with the hiding... that's a trickier issue.
Desta hides anything that she doesn't want to take care of: dirty dishes, dirty clothes, homework, overdue library books, things she's borrowed, etc. It's her way of handling things: out of sight, out of mind. I'm not overly worried about the psychological implications of hiding her dirty underwear, 'cause that's just her MO.

And I still think bloody underwear is gross.

dm
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#29 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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With the added information, I wonder, does she ned more information on what's happening? Maybe a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, or some other book that explains the changes happening in her body?
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#30 of 113 Old 02-13-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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here's what I would do...
I'd say "sweetie, I found some panties that were a little bit icky in the wash today and I almost stuck my hand right in it!!!" Then I'd say..."You know, that has happened to me too, and if you don't rinse the stain out pretty quickly, your panties will be ruined, and it's going to be up to you to buy yourself replacements" I'd let her know that accidents do happen, but that she needs to just take some responsibility to try and clean up after herself when it does. My daughters rinse theirs, and if the stain doesn't come out, they soak them in the sink, and I deal with it later...and they always tell me "mom, sorry...but there's a little present in the sink for you"....and I always retort with "Gee thanks....I'll jump right ON that one!" but at least they let me know, and they have taken some measures to remedy the situation.
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