Mom Admits She's 'Pretty Shocked' After Her Daughter's Teacher Told Her To 'Hold In' Her Period Until Class Was Over

It's been proven that limiting student's access to bathrooms is detrimental for both their mental and physical well-being.

anxious teen girl with hand on head sitting in class Ground Picture / Shutterstock

A mother was flabbergasted after her daughter informed her of what her teacher had said when she'd asked to go the bathroom because of an emergency. Posting to the UK-based online forum, Mumsnet, she inquired if she was being unreasonable for finding an issue with her daughter's teacher.

She claimed her daughter was told by her teacher to 'hold in' her period.

In her post, she explained that at her 15-year-old daughter's school, there's a rule in place that no students are allowed to go to the bathroom during the lesson, which she acknowledged is a fair rule since many students can be disruptive if they are just going in and out of class and using the bathroom as an excuse to get out of learning.


The only exception would be if a student has a medical note from a doctor, the mom noted. However, during a particular day in class, her teenage daughter was having a bit of an emergency and desperately needed to get to the bathroom.

"Today in one of her lessons [my daughter] says she could feel that she really needed to change her pad, she was getting quite worried about it leaking," the mom shared. "She eventually asked the (male) teacher if she could go to the loo."

mom shocked after hearing daughter's teacher told her to hold in her periodPhoto: l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock


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In response, the teacher automatically told her no, reminding her of the rule that no one was allowed to go to the bathroom during class lessons. She attempted to argue that she needed to go right now and that it was a "girl problem." When her teacher finally caved and asked what was going on, she told him she was on her period.

Instead of simply allowing her to go, the teacher doubled down and told her to "hold it in" until the next break, which would be in a half-hour. According to her mom, since her daughter is quite shy and doesn't handle confrontation well, she ended up sitting at her desk until the break, and thankfully, was able to avoid any leaks.

Now, the teen's mom is wondering if she's being unreasonable for being rather shocked at the lack of empathy and understanding from her daughter's teacher, pointing out that he should've had at least some basic knowledge that "holding in" a period is rather impossible.


It's damaging for students to be denied using the bathroom in schools, no matter the reason.

Despite this incident happening in the UK, teachers limiting bathroom breaks for students has been a longstanding debate in the United States as well.

In a survey of school nurses by the Society for Women's Health Research, bathroom policies vary widely and often without regard to or education on bladder health. Half of the 362 school nurses surveyed for the report said students in their schools had free access to bathrooms, with formal permission a formality.

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At some schools, students are expected to use the restrooms only in between classes or during their designated lunch times. Many experts have even spoken out about this debate and, in an interview with Insider, Leila D., a registered nurse from Texas with six years of experience working in schools, explained why limiting bathroom use is detrimental to students.


mom shocked after hearing daughter's teacher told her to hold in her periodPhoto: nimito / Shutterstock

"Limiting bathroom use in school is contrary to keeping kids physically and mentally healthy," she told the publication. Leila even pointed out that not using the bathroom when you need to go can lead to "medical issues, including weakened bladder muscles, constipation, urinary tract infections, and even more severe issues such as megacolon." 

She also stressed the importance of body autonomy. "How can kids learn if we don't allow them to trust their own bathroom urges? These rules are not only controlling, but they deny basic human needs."


In this specific incident, the teen girl's teacher lacked the proper awareness about not only female anatomy but also displayed a lack of sensitivity toward the matter.

While it's understandable that sending students to the bathroom during lessons could lead to them taking advantage of the privilege, teachers must be able to recognize and accommodate the special circumstances that might arise and treat them accordingly.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.