Misconceptions About Swimming During Your Period
Itâs messy. You can swim when you have your period. You just need to wear a tampon or menstrual cup to catch the flow. Competitive swimmers have participated in big races during their periods.â
It isnât safe. While a sharkâs sense of smell is powerful, thereâs no evidence that menstrual blood increases your risk of being attacked by sharks. More than 80% of recorded shark bites happened to men. â
Itâs unhygienic. Itâs always best to wear a tampon or menstrual cup when swimming. Itâs very unlikely that there will be leakage, but swimming pools are chlorinated and use a filtration system.â
Cramps will be worse. You may not feel like swimming if you have painful period cramps, but exercise may actually help improve your period pain. â
One study of 70 women with regular period cramps found that those who exercised regularly over 4 weeks had improved levels of pain.â
Researchers found that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week helped significantly improve the severity of period cramps after 8 weeks. This effect wasnât seen after just 4 weeks of exercise.â
Talk to your doctor if your menstrual cramps are very painful. It may be due to a condition such as:
Menstrual Cups For Swimming
If period swimwear is not really your thing, or youd prefer just to use period swimwear as a back-up, then you may like to try a menstrual cup.
What I love about menstrual cups is they can be worn for a long time, up to 8-12 hours, depending on your flow and the specific cup guidelines.
This is really perfect for long days at the beach, the lake, by the pool or on a boat
There are so many menstrual cups on the market at the moment, it can be a little overwhelming. And I dont have one brand of menstrual cup that I recommend, because menstrual cups can vary in their length, firmeness, capacity and more. What might work for me, or your best friend, might not be right for you and your body. We all have a unique anatomy that needs to be taken into account when choosing a menstrual cup.
If youd like to learn more about how to choose a menstrual cup thats right for you, you can read my free Guide to Choosing Your Best Menstrual Cup. Its worth a read before you decide which menstrual cup to invest in! Just enter your details below and I will send the guide direct to your inbox:
Perfect Protection At The Beach
They make for the perfect protection at the beach! When you expose yourself at the beach, youre basically half naked and want to look good. There are only too many horror stories of women walking around the beach or poolside with bulky pads sticking out, noticed by everyone but the women themselves!
Leak-Proof swimwear allows you to look and feel sexy at the beach with amazing protection that can be used as backup with a sponge, tampon or menstrual cup.
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The Beach Is Your Friendjust Like The Pool
You can swim in the ocean just as freely as your backyard pool. Obviously, the amount of water in the ocean is going to dilute the chances of germs being spread through bodily fluids. And if youre worried about sharksdont be. A shark will sense menstrual blood in the water just like any other fluid, but youre just as likely to be bitten by a shark when youre on your period as when youre not . So noJaws wont be after you just because youre dealing with Auntie Flo.
Am I Going To Get Eaten By Sharks
There are no recorded cases ofsharks attacking someone on their period. According to the International SharkAttackFile,many people safely dive while menstruating. More research is needed, but theyhavenât seen any pattern of increased attacks on menstruating divers. MarieLevine, Founder and Executive Director of The Shark ResearchInstitute, has been diving for decades without anyproblem. She told MotherJones,â even got my period while underwater with a school of hammerheadsâthesharks were not interested and I had to fin like crazy to get close to them.âSo, go ahead, dive in! If youâre still worried, swim in a pool or somewheresharks are unlikely to make an appearance.
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How To Swim When You Are On Your Period
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Your menstrual cycle should never prevent you from enjoying a day at the beach or pool with your friends. In fact, getting some exercise while swimming with your period can help you reduce cramps and improve your mood. Women have been venturing into the water since time immemorial, and you can do. If you want to know how to swim on your period, see Step 1 to get started.XResearch source
Best Tampons For Swimming
Tampons are specifically designed to absorb period flow before it can leave your body, which makes them one of the best products to use for swimming on your period. You wonât have to worry about signs of your period showing in the water. Pads are made to absorb period flow too, but as theyâre worn outside of the body â and would be great at absorbing all that pool water too â youâd end up with a soggy bottom and looking like you were wearing a nappy . So, do yourself a favour and leave the pads at home. All Tampax tampons can be worn while swimming in any kind of water, and only Tampax tampons have a LeakGuard Braid to help stop leaks before they happen â giving you all-day comfort and protection for up to eight hours.
Have a look at how to insertâ¯a tampon and practice a few times before you head into the water â especially if using a tampon is new to you. Be sure to tuck the string into the lining of your swimming costume before you leave the bathroom, and you should be good to go.
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Can I Go To The Beach On My Period Without Wanting To Swim
Yes, you can tailor your activity level to whatever makes you comfortable. This varies for everybody based on personal factors like your flow, the time of year, the friends youre with, etc. If youd prefer, you can relax and watch the waves or other people. Also, you can wade through the water without actually going in for a swim.
If you plan to swim outside, don’t forget to put on sunscreen. This is especially important if youre prone to acne, as sunshine and periods can increase your risk of breakouts or aggravate existing acne.
Other Tips For Swimming On Your Period
Being on your period might cause your face to break out in pimples and make your skin blotchy, which isnât great for a day out on the water. Reach for a high-SPF sunscreen especially formulated for your face, and top it off with a tinted moisturiser to even out your skin tone and conceal any redness. If all else fails, grab some oversized sunglasses and your favourite hat to shade your face from the sun.
Stomach bloating and period cramps also have no place at the beach or poolside. Steer clear of salty, fried and fatty foods, as well as caffeine. Stay hydrated with water, herbal iced tea, refreshing lemonade, and fresh fruit and veg. Some people swear by hot water and lemon to reduce bloating â figure out what works best for you.
Read Also: Why Does My Period So Heavy
How Can I Stop My Period
Once a period has started, it is not possible to stop it. Some home methods may help reduce the amount of bleeding that occurs for a short time, but they will not stop the period altogether. People who are interested in preventing their period for medical or personal reasons should talk with their doctor.
Can I Catch An Infection From Swimming During My Period
Itâs very unlikelyyou would catch a vaginal disease from swimming. Skin infections and stomachillnesses from swallowing contaminated water are more common complaints. Checkwith your regional health authority for information on water quality at localswimming spots. Chlorinated pool water can irritate your vagina and vulva,leaving you at risk of developing a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis .Take a shower after swimming to reduce chlorine exposure, and avoid sittingaround in wet swimwear. If you notice any itching, burning or unusual dischargeafter swimming, get it checked by your healthcare provider.
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Period Swimwear Vs Period Underwear
Period swimwear is basically the same as period underwear, except its designed to be worn in the water, whereas period underwear is not.
You cannot swim in normal period underwear. Period underwear and period swimwear have completely different designs.
If you want to learn more about period underwear, then you may like to read some of my previous period underwear related posts:
Is A Tampon My Only Option
While a tampon is the most common solution to swimming on your period, its not the only option. Tampons do absorb some water while swimming, but as long as you change the tampon before and afterwards, youll be fine. A menstrual cup will also work in the water. If youre not comfortable with using a tampon or menstrual cup yet, you have some other options.
If your period is light, you could wear a dark bathing suit to prevent stains. While youre in a pool, the water pressure will stop your period flow temporarily. If you sneeze or cough in the water, theres a chance a tiny amount of blood will come out, but it will not be noticeable, as the water will dilute it.
Once you get out of the pool, your flow will go back to normal, so there is a chance for leakage at this point. The best recommendation I have for this is to stay in the water unless absolutely necessary. When you get out, cover yourself with a towel and head straight to the locker room or bathroom so you can change and get a pad on.
There is absolutely no shame in choosing not to swim because of your period. Your swim instructor, friends or family will absolutely understand. If you arent comfortable with telling someone youre on your period, simply tell them youre sick. No-one can make you swim if you dont want to. On the other hand, there is also no shame in swimming on your period. It is not gross or weird, so never let anyone tell you otherwise!
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How To Swim On Your Period With A Pad
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Want to go to that pool party everyone’s going to this summer, but fear you can’t because you’ll be on your period? Don’t worryyou can still swim on your period! If at all possible, you’ll be most comfortable swimming with a tampon or menstrual cup instead of a pad, as they will be better at hiding your period. However, if you only have a pad at your disposal, you can swim with one. It’s especially double if you’re just planning on hanging by the pool or wading in the water without actually getting your suit wet.
The Classic Solution: Wear A Tampon
Usually, we are first taught to use pads when we first get our periods. Having used pads for many years, many of us take a while to try out tampons, if ever at all.
Using a pad on a swim is an absolutely terrible idea, unless your flow is extremely light and you just need a pantyliner in case. Pads are made to absorb liquid your menstrual blood and its bloody good at doing that . So when you go inside a pool with a pad, its going to absorb all the pool water it can until the point of saturation, and it wont be able to absorb any of your menstrual blood if it comes out. In the end, its the same as wearing no pad at all!
Using a tampon protects you from leakage because your blood is all absorbed inside. Very little water is able to go inside your tampon too, so this is a simple and common solution to swimming while on your period.
Some people worry that the tampon string may become visible, so be careful to tuck it in properly within your swimsuit bottom. You could wear swimming shorts instead to feel safer!
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Question: I Am A Competitive Swimmer And Am In The Water Everyday Day At Least Once For 25 Hours I Also Have A Really Heavy Flow And Feel Really Self Conscious Whilst Swimming And Am Scared That I May Leak Even Though I Use Heavy Tampons Whenever I Have To Get Out Of The Water For Dives I’m Always Scared That Some Blood Will Trickle Down My Legs And I Can’t Help Checking Because I Am So Embarrassed How Can I Ensure That I Don’t Leak When I Can’t Change My Tampons Regularly During Swimming Also I Am Pretty Fit And Have Heard That If You Are Under 20% Body Fat You Lose Your Period I Think I Am Under This But My Period Continues To Be Heavy
Dr. Farah Kroman: Usually, for heavy flow days, it’s recommended to change your tampon when its full or after a maximum of 8 hours. Also consider a super tampon for the extra absorbency. Alternatively you may like to consider talking to your GP about hormonal contraception like the pill or progesterone rod – this can lighten the flow and allow you to skip periods altogether. The general consensus for when a period stops is BMI less than 17. This of course varies from person to person. Your period stopping is a sign that ‘mother nature’ thinks that it would be unsafe for you to carry a baby. If you are fit and healthy then you would still be able to be pregnant even if you have a low body fat percentage, and so your periods would continue.