October 30, 2012

30/31 - Question 3 of 3 - the period stuff

Thank you to all who responded to my request for questions so I could continue to write every day in support of down syndrome awareness. I have never participated in this 31 days of blogging and it is hard to be exciting and engaged every day! This is question 3 of 3.

Question - When did Alex get her period and does she use tampons or pads? Is Alex on any birth control?

Alex got her period when she was 11, she knew about it as her older sister also had hers. We also read the book "The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls" from the American Girl Collection a number of times to help Alex understand more about her body. 

 Alex began to use pads right away and was able to change them as needed.....when she remembered. Alex has the bladder of a camel and does not need to go to the bathroom often. This translated to three years of ruined underwear. Since about 14 Alex has changed her pad every few hours, which has decreased pantie staining but not eradicated it. We were asked to always keep an extra pair of panties and pants in her school locker, as well as pads.

For the first few years, Alex's period was not regular and would often come as a surprise. I began to figure out her cycles based on horrible hormonal mood swings and we all learned to plan better. These days her periods comes every 21 days and she knows her own schedule.

Alex does not like to wear tampons, but will if she has swim practice. She has successfully inserted her own tampons, but much prefers me to help her. This is very yucky, and I can not believe I have fallen for her tricks again. The easiest way for Alex to insert a tampon is using the cardboard applicators and vaseline.

Recently at Alex's annual check-up we discussed putting Alex on the pill. The Doctor's reasoning included less periods as well as safety. As Alex gets older she will have the opportunity to be sexually active and could get pregnant. There is also the horrible possibility that someone may take advantage of her. Although I shudder to think this could happen - I know it can.

In the next few months I will discuss this option with Alex, my bet is she will prefer less periods and will opt for the pill.

Alex's periods are short, but include three days of PMS, just like mine and just like her sisters. Hmmm, couldn't that 21st chromosome have saved her from this torture?


  1. She was 11? Beth didn't start until 13. We went through a time of ruined underwear too. Thankfully Beth now changes her pads regularly.

    1. I think we may be an early start family - Alex had not developed too much - so it was a surprise for us.

  2. Wow- now that was helpful :). Kayli is 13 and all systems go except the final one.... we wait with bated breath.


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