How are menstruating comatose women cared for?
September 8, 2009 11:04 AM   Subscribe

What happens when comatose women menstruate?

For pre-menopausal women, how does the hospital staff deal with menstruation? Do they use maxi pads or tampons? It seems that laying down in bed would create a mess on the sheets even with maxi pads. Do they wash the women often?

Are there any cases where comatose women were put on some sort of hormonal drugs so that menstruation was arrested? Is the period lessened at all by the coma?
posted by amicamentis to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This was covered a bit in the Almodovar movie Talk to Her. Not that I'm saying it's accurate but the mensstruation bit is sort of a plot point. The women have pads that are changed by nurses. The Straight Dope briefly touched on this, but there's not much there. You can read this terrible story which addresses pregnancy [via rape] but also doesn't add much.
posted by jessamyn at 11:14 AM on September 8, 2009

Routine pad change and washup with the routine turning of the patient. Women who are longterm residents of care homes and are pre-menopause have their "cycle" noted on the care plan, so as to anticipate need for pads.

As for making a mess.. the pad towards the woman's rear, just like you put the thickest part of a (cloth) diaper in the back for a baby girl.
posted by reflecked at 11:42 AM on September 8, 2009

They make special pads for nighttime that are longer and wider in the back. I really can't see it making that much of a mess. I know the commercials make it seem like sleeping in a pad is just asking to have blood all over your bedroom floor, but women sleep in pads all the time.

I have no real-life basis for this but I feel like it would be impossible to put a tampon into a comatose woman, or any woman for that matter who wasn't ready and waiting for the tampon. It can't really be forced, like a penis; it's too small and soft. It's all about relaxing and getting it at the right angle etc.
posted by thebazilist at 7:12 PM on September 8, 2009

Sleeping with a pad is not at all messy, fwiw.
posted by Nattie at 8:02 PM on September 8, 2009

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