How you can help with your daughter’s heavy periods
We all know those lucky devils who never appear to suffer on their period. You know, the ones who can go a whole day without changing their pad. But not everyone is so lucky. Unfortunately some of us are a hell of a lot heavier and think we have the equivalent of Niagara Falls cascading out of us! Seriously, how can we have any blood left in us?! So if your daughter is experiencing heavy periods too, ensure her that she’s not alone. Sit her down with a big slab of chocolate and talk about how you can help…
When is heavy, heavy?
The average amount of blood lost during your period varies from woman to woman but it’s usually between 30-40ml, with 9 out of 10 people losing below 80ml. If your daughter is suffering from heavy periods, she’ll likely be losing more than 60ml over the course of her period. It’s important to tell her that what’s normal for one girl isn’t the same for others, and that it’s OK to have varying periods. In fact, as our bodies change and get older, our periods do too.
Once your daughter becomes more regular, she’ll know what’s right for her. A good way to know whether her period is heavy is simple; how often does she change her pad? Is it saturated within the hour? Are there leaks even with a high-absorbency tampon?
So, what causes them?
The scientific name for heavy periods is ‘menorrhagia’ which basically means ‘bursting with menstruation’. What a thought, eh. Although very apt as I’m sure we’ve all felt that sudden surge of blood and thought ‘where the heck is the closest toilet!?’
Unfortunately, some girls are just more prone to them than others. We know that sucks! Sometimes there’s no reason for it; life just deals those cards. However there are some conditions which cause heavy periods. It’s worth talking to your daughter about other symptoms she’s experiencing as her heavy bleeding could be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, endometriosis and blood clotting disorders such as Von Willebrand disease. It may be worth taking her to your family GP to find out more.
What can I do to help?
If you’ve been to the doctor and they’ve ruled out the above conditions, annoyingly, there’s no easy cure for plain old heavy periods – but there are definitely things you can do to help. Likelihood is she’ll be feeling rubbish so once you’ve calmed her down with a snuggly blanket, a warm drink and turned a blind-eye to the fact she’s devoured a full container of ice cream for dinner, talk to her about how you would deal with it.
Get her to try night pads in the day, pack loads of spares for school, some baby wipes to freshen up with as well as a spare pair of knickers for any mishaps. If you are comfortable with it, give her permission to take paracetamol at school if she needs to. Basically, put yourself in her school shoes and make her feel as loved and prepared for her period as you possibly can. After all, a heavy flow comes with a huge side of pain, but a huge side of Galaxy too. Swings and roundabouts, guys.