Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Menstruation And Swimming But Were Afraid To Ask
Its a fact of life: Females of childbearing age typically menstruate for an average of four to eight days on a regular cycle of roughly every 28 days.
This happens like clockwork for some, less consistently for others, depending on a range of health and environmental factors. Every womans cycle is different.
For some, they bleed for three days every 21 days. For others, an eight-day period that occurs every 38 days is normal. Still others may have periods that fluctuate, and hormonal birth control pills can be used to skip periods for months on end.
For most women, its just part of being female and something they get used to managing. The OWH reports that women can usually expect to have a period nearly every month or so for an average of about 40 years. Most girls can expect their period to begin during puberty, usually sometime between 11 and 16 years of age, and last until menopause, which typically arrives somewhere between the ages of 45 and 55.
Again, theres a lot of variability here depending on genetics, medications being used, health conditions, and environmental factors. But the point is, periods are a near universal and regular experience for teens and women for many years.
Walbest 1pc Bamboo Charcoal Fiber Waterproof Menstrual Period Pad
This package only comes with one waterproof menstrual pad, so it’s a good purchase if you’re just looking to see what the experience is all about.
This pad is made from a bamboo charcoal fiber inner layer and contains two middle layers made from microfiber fabric. The bamboo charcoal provides an antibacterial effect and also serves as a natural deodorant to keep you feeling and smelling fresh.
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Choose The Right Absorbency Level
Pads come in varying levels of absorbency â most often light, moderate, heavy and super. The pad absorbency level that’s right for you might depend on the nature of your flow, as well as where you are in your cycle.
For example, if you’re on day one or two, you’ll likely have a much heavier flow and require a heavy or super pad versus on day five or six when you can get away with a light or moderate pad.
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Ways To Swim With Your Period
Is it possible? Is it hygienic? Will I really attract sharks if I swim in the ocean?
Yes, depends, and no.
Exercising can be good for you while youre on your period, and swimming can be a relaxing, low-impact workout for your entire body whether you are a competitive or recreational swimmer. But very few of us pick swimming for our period workout because.logically it could get a bit messy and embarrassing.
Being in the water slows down or can even stop your menstrual flow because of the water pressure, but there is always that risk that it may still leak out, especially if you sneeze or coughweve all been there before.
But there are ways to work around it so that you can still enjoy a nice perk-me-up swim even when youre feeling terrible with your period! How else would professional female swimmers do it?
How Do You Insert A Tampon For Swimming
Can I Swim With A Tampon? Tampons are a great period product to wear while swimming. Simply insert one like you usually would, put on your swimsuit, and hop in the water. You can wear a tampon for four to eight hours, so if youre spending all day at the beach, you might want to change your tampon once or twice.
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Can Swimming Makes Menstrual Cramps Worse
Swimming during your period is not only safe, but also a good idea. Staying active has been shown to help relieve cramping and fatigue during the monthly period. Physical activities such as swimming or exercise can actually help you relieve period pain and discomfort. Low-intensity activities, such as swimming, cause the release of endorphins. These endorphins serve as natural pain relievers for your body, relieving you of the discomfort caused by menstrual cramps.
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:
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Periods Shouldnt Keep You Out Of The Waterheres What To Do
The key to feeling confident swimming while on your period is to have protection that you trust and that is sufficient to absorb your flow.
If youre one of the majority of women who use pads, its time to try a different product. Unfortunately, pads are not designed for use in water. They will simply absorb the pool or seawater and mix with your blood. You will feel messy and sodden, and could even leave a pink trail in the water.
So you need a better product. Good news: You have options. There are new reusable products and very established disposable products to try. Once you get used to them, youll feel confident and protected in the pool or ocean.
Will I Leave A Menstrual Bloody Trail In The Water
Should you worry about leaving a blood trail in the water if your period products fail? Its hard to make guarantees here: Weve all experienced a period product failing us at some point and resulting in leaks. This is especially common at night.
The big difference is that at night you may have exceeded your products absorbency limit. So as long as you choose the right absorbency level for your flow and dont push those limits, you should be just fine. If you do have a very heavy menstrual flow you may opt to use another menstrual product for additional protection while you swim.
It is worth noting that the water pressure may lighten your blood flow, and even if you do leak a little it will be quickly diluted in the water, so youre unlikely to leave the gruesome blood trail that youre probably picturing in your head .
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Will Everyone Know You Have Your Period
Again, the key here is to choose the right swimwear and pad combination. By wearing a waterproof pad when you swim, you’ll avoid the puffed-up look of a regular pad and greatly lower the chance of blood leaking into the water or down your legs.
If you’re still not totally comfortable swimming with a pad, consider using a tampon or a menstrual disc or cup.
Is It Possible To Swim With A Menstrual Cup
Since its perfectly safe to go swimming when you have your period, you can swim with a menstrual cup to enjoy a leak-free period even when youre in the water. A menstrual cup works with suction, creating a seal with your vaginal wall to collect your blood. Your menstrual cups seal allows you to swim leak-free and prevents water from traveling up into your cup. No water gets in and no blood gets out, until you empty your cup, of course.
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Simfamily Reusable Waterproof Bamboo Charcoal Menstrual Pads
This set of six waterproof pads are reusable, so your $14 really goes a long way. They come in varying absorbency levels, including panty liner, regular and heavy flow.
To clean them, simply soak them in cold water or use the presoak function on your washing machine to remove all of the menstrual blood from the bamboo fabric. You can then wash them on cold using a natural detergent and tumble dry on low.
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You Have A Few Different Options Though
There are many safe and effective options for preventing leakage when youre in the water on your period. The most important thing to consider is your own comfort.
Whether youre using tampons or something different, changing whichever menstrual product right before you go is a great way to prevent leaks.
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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 Im Always Scared That Some Blood Will Trickle Down My Legs And I Cant Help Checking Because I Am So Embarrassed How Can I Ensure That I Dont Leak When I Cant 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, its 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.
How Can You Swim During Your Period Without A Tampon
Swimming while menstruating without a tampon is totally a thing. You can choose a zero-waste solution, like a menstrual cup, or you can just trust your body and your awareness of it, by which we mean you can learn how to instinctually flow freely. First, train yourself at home, where theres no pressure. Work on detecting strong flow days, and then see if you can identify days when swimming during menstruation makes the most sense for you.
Finally, if youre not comfortable with it, thats cool just be patient. The most important thing is to listen to yourself, no pressure, and go for it when you feel comfortable! Start slowly. Do a few short swims to gain confidence. And dont be afraid of leaks. Menstrual blood isnt dirty, and menstruating shouldnt be embarrassing. Free yourself of your anxiety and societys bogus shame. Rediscover the joys of swimming while preserving the environment but, hey, only if you wanna!
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Use A Tampon Sponge Or Cup While Swimming
If you canât or donât want to use a tampon or alternative product like a sponge or menstrual cup, you have a few options. If your flow is light, you can wear absorbent swimwear or a dark-colored suit to prevent stains. Waterproof absorbent swimwear look like regular bikini bottoms but have a hidden, leak-proof lining that helps absorb menstrual blood. You can wear a pad before and after swimming.
Can I Delay My Period Until After I Go Swimming
Typical, combined hormonal contraceptive pills give you the option to skip or delay your period instead of taking the placebo pills or having a few days’ break , and this will delay your period until you finish your second pack.
“If you are on hormonal contraception such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, you can speak to your GP about taking two packets consecutively so you can skip the hormone-free interval where you would usually experience a withdrawal bleed,” explains Dr O’Neill. “If you’re taking the progesterone-only contraceptive pill, taking it ‘back to back’ will not delay your period. But, you can speak to your GP about switching to the combined oral contraceptive pill or taking another medication to delay your period.”
If youre not taking an oral contraceptive and want to delay your period, your doctor can prescribe you a pill called norethisterone to take three days before your period is due to start. You can take this for a maximum of 20 days and, once you finish it, your period should then arrive.
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What Age Should You Take Babies Swimming
Babies can go into water from birth. However, they cant regulate their temperature like adults, so its very important to make sure they dont get too cold. Babies can also pick up an infection from water. Therefore, its generally best to wait until your baby is around 2 months old before you take them swimming.
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Will Swimming Worsen Cramps
When you think about it, swimming seems like it could aggravate cramps in your lower back and tummy. Instead, studies have shown that physical exercise including swimming can help take your mind off the discomfort and actually relieve soreness.
So, if youre still wondering, Will swimming worsen my cramps? here is the explanation. The soothing lapping of the water over your body and the waters buoyancy have a calming effect on your muscles. This can reduce pain and bloating that may be associated with your periods.
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What Happens If I Don’t Have Pads Or Tampons Handy
If this happens, here are your options: Borrow from a friend, buy some from a restroom dispenser, visit the school nurse if you’re at school, or call home so your mom or dad can bring you what you need. If you are desperate and trying to keep your clothes from staining, you can fold up some tissues or toilet paper and place them in your underwear. That won’t work for long, so you’ll need to get some pads or tampons quickly.
If you’re nervous about telling the school nurse, a teacher, or another adult about what you need, write it down on a piece of paper or use code words. You might say that “it’s that time of the month” or that you need some “personal supplies.” Even better, keep extras in your backpack, locker, or gym bag.
The Best Menstrual Cup For Swimming
Ruby Cup is the best menstrual cup for swimming, and were not saying that just because were biased. Heres why:
- Creates the perfect seal: Each Ruby Cup is made with a medium firmness that is flexible enough to be comfortable, yet sturdy enough to create a seal for leak-free swimming.
- Made for every body: Ruby Cup Small can handle light to medium flows and you can trim the stem to adapt to a low cervix. The Ruby Cup Medium is one of the best menstrual cups for heavy flows and is great if you have a high cervix. Buy our discounted Duo Pack to have both sizes if you have a flow that varies during your cycle.
- Body-friendly: Made with100% medical-grade silicone, Ruby Cup is plastic and bleach-free.
- Eco-friendly: Create zero-waste even while you swim. You can use our vegan and reusable Ruby Cup for up to 10 years.
- Money-back guarantee: Weve all been through the learning curve, which is why you deserve time to get used to your cup. We give you 120 days to exchange or return your cup, no questions asked. Use it with more than one swim before you decide its the right one for you.
- Buy one give one program: For each Ruby Cup you buy, we donate a cup to a person without access to safe period products, which means two people can now swim with a menstrual cup.
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Am I Going To Get Eaten By Sharks
We’ve already covered this very important question here, but there’s no harm in a recap. Basically: don’t worry. Just because youre on your period, doesn’t mean youre going to attract sharks and recreate a scene from Jaws.
To date, there are no recorded cases of sharks attacking someone who was menstruating, and according to the International Shark Attack File, people quite happily dive while on their period. And although its true that more research into this topic could be done, there’s currently no correlation between menstruating divers and increased numbers of shark attacks. Phew.
Marie Levine, Founder and Executive Director of The Shark Research Institute has been diving for decades with no problems at all. She told Mother Jones, even got my period while underwater with a school of hammerheads the sharks were not interested and I had to fin like crazy to get close to them.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.