Can I go swimming on my period? The Truth About Menstruation and Swimming



Can I go swimming on my period

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Are you wondering if it’s safe to swim on your period? The answer is yes! Contrary to popular belief, swimming during your period is completely safe and can even have some benefits.

This article will debunk myths, provide tips to prevent leakage, discuss the effect of exercise on cramps, and explore the safety and usage of tampons and menstrual cups.

We’ll cover period-friendly swimwear and recommend the best products to use.

Get ready to confidently swim while menstruating!

Key Takeaways on Swimming on Your Period

  • Swimming on your period is safe as long as you wear a tampon or menstrual cup.
  • Tampons are the best product to use for swimming on your period.
  • Pads should be avoided as they can become soggy in the water.
  • Menstrual cups can be worn while swimming in any kind of water and are a good choice for packing light.

Can you swim on your period?

Yes, if you’d like to, you absolutely can swim when menstruating! There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to change your plans just because your period started. While there is a popular belief that you can swim on your period, or that it will make cramps worse, this is simply not true.

Your body releases endorphins -natural painkillers!- when you exercise, so swimming exercise is a great natural way to treat period pain. Gentle exercise from swimming can actually ease menstrual cramps and the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome as well.

One study of women who suffer primary dysmenorrhea (period cramps) showed that regular aerobic exercise over a 4 week period helped to reduce pain.

It’s really common to worry about your menstrual flow in swimming pools, but if you arm yourself with knowledge and an awareness of the period products available to help you, swimming on your period doesn’t need to be so scary!

Preventing Leakage While Swimming

To prevent leakage while swimming on your period, it’s important to use the right menstrual products that provide reliable protection. Here are some key points to consider:

Water pressure and period flow:

  • Water pressure may temporarily stop your flow while swimming, but it can resume once you’re out of the water.
  • It’s important to use a product that can handle your flow even under water pressure.

Swimwear options for preventing leaks:

  • Consider using period-friendly swimwear with built-in layers designed to trap and collect blood.
  • These swimwear options can hold as much as two tampons and should be changed and cleaned every 12 hours.

The effectiveness of tampons & period cups for swimming:

  • Tampons are specifically designed to absorb menstrual flow and are ideal for swimming.
  • They can be worn while swimming in any kind of water and should be changed after swimming or during breaks.

Exercise’s Impact on Menstrual Cramps

Exercise can have a positive impact on reducing the severity of menstrual cramps. Studies have shown that regular exercise can lead to menstrual pain relief and improve overall well-being during menstruation. One study found that exercise participants reported less pain during their periods compared to sedentary women.

Exercise may act as a natural painkiller by releasing endorphins, which can help alleviate menstrual cramps. It is important to note that exercise does not influence symptoms or negative mood throughout the menstrual cycle. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind the relationship between exercise and menstrual pain.

Prospective studies can provide valuable data on the effects of exercise on menstrual symptoms. By incorporating exercise into your routine, you may experience the benefits of reduced menstrual cramps and improved mental well-being.

Exercise’s Benefits
– Reduces severity of menstrual cramps – Releases endorphins acting as natural painkillers
– Improves overall well-being during menstruation – Alleviates menstrual pain
– Does not influence symptoms or negative mood throughout the menstrual cycle
– Can act as a non-pharmacological therapy for menstrual pain

Safe Usage of Tampons

Continuing the discussion on menstrual cramps and exercise, it’s important to address the safe usage of tampons. When it comes to tampon safety, it’s crucial to be aware of the materials used, the regulations in place, and the potential health risks associated with unsafe tampons. Here are three key points to consider:

  1. Tampon materials: Tampons are typically made of cotton, rayon, or a combination of fibers. Organic cotton tampons are also available. It’s important to note that asbestos isn’t approved for use in tampons, and factories that manufacture tampons are subject to inspection to ensure compliance with required manufacturing standards.
  2. Tampon regulations: Tampons undergo regulatory testing to ensure they meet safety standards. Compliance with safety regulations is essential for tampon manufacturers. These regulations vary across countries, highlighting the global concern for tampon safety.
  3. Potential health risks: Unsafe tampons may contain harmful chemicals or toxins, and improperly made tampons can increase the risk of infection. It’s crucial to use tampons with the appropriate absorbency level, change them regularly, and follow proper hygiene practices to reduce the risk of bacterial growth and infections.

The importance of tampon safety can’t be overstated. By understanding the materials, regulations, and potential health risks associated with tampons, you can make informed choices and prioritize your well-being.

Menstrual Cups and Period Swimwear

When it comes to swimming on your period, you may be wondering about the use of menstrual cups and period swimwear. Menstrual cups are a safe and reusable option for swimming during your period.

They are made of rubber or silicone and collect blood without absorbing it, reducing the risk of leakage. Some benefits of using menstrual cups include lower risk of infection compared to pads and tampons, cost-effectiveness, and less waste.

On the other hand, period swimwear is absorbable and reusable, similar to a pad but built into the lining. It can hold as much menstrual blood as one to two tampons and should be changed and cleaned every 12 hours. Here is a table comparing the pros and cons of menstrual cups and period swimwear:

Menstrual CupsPeriod Swimwear
Benefits of Menstrual CupsPros and Cons of Period Swimwear
– Lower risk of infection– Absorbable and reusable
– Cost-effective and less waste– Holds as much as one to two tampons
– Can be challenging to clean while out and about– Should be changed and cleaned every swim

If you prefer alternative options for swimming on your period, tampons are another reliable choice. They are designed to absorb period flow and can be worn while swimming.

However, it’s important to practice inserting a tampon before swimming if you’re new to it. Overall, the choice between tampons and menstrual cups depends on your personal preference and comfort level.

Recommended Products for Menstrual Swimming

To ensure a comfortable and leak-free swimming experience during your period, you should use tampons or menstrual cups. These products are designed to collect menstrual flow and are suitable for swimming.

Here are some recommendations for menstrual swimming:

With the right products, swimming on your period can be safe and comfortable. Don’t let your period stop you from enjoying the water!

Debunking Menstrual Swimming Myths

You may have heard various myths about swimming on your period, but it’s important to debunk these misconceptions for a clear understanding of the topic.

One common myth is that swimming on your period attracts sharks. However, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim. Sharks are attracted to amino acids in blood, not menstrual blood.

Swimming on your period doesn’t affect the duration of your period. Hormones control the length of your period, not swimming.

It’s also important to note that swimming on your heaviest day is possible with the right menstrual products, such as tampons or menstrual cups. These products ensure hygiene and provide the confidence to enjoy swimming without worrying about leaks.

Tips for a Comfortable Swim When Menstruating

For a comfortable swim while menstruating, consider wearing dark-colored swim bottoms to provide extra confidence and conceal any potential leakage.

When it comes to managing discomfort, relieving cramps, and maintaining hygiene while enjoying water activities, choosing the right products is essential. Tampons or menstrual cups are the best options for swimming on your period.

Tampons are designed to absorb period flow and can be worn in any kind of water. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, collect blood without absorbing it and can also be worn while swimming. It’s important to change tampons or empty and clean menstrual cups regularly to prevent leakage.

Additionally, using period-friendly swimwear with built-in layers can provide added protection and peace of mind.

It is not unhygienic to swim while menstruating

One fitness centre in Georgia recently made headlines for handing a sign in the ladies changing room stating “Dear ladies, Please don’t swim with your period”. The centre claimed that this advice was brought in to minimise any risk for other swimmers after to a recent incident where menstrual blood contaminated water.

The water in public pools will always contain traces of bodily fluids, including sweat and urine. However, it’s important to remember that public pools have strict guidelines when it comes to water quality, with chlorine keeping the water clean and safe for the health and well-being of everyone.

Please be assured that swimming during your period will not carry any risk of endangering anyone’s health.

Is swimming on your period safe?

In terms of your own health, there is no reason to believe that swimming on your period is unsafe for you. In fact, there is more risk of you contracting an ear infection than a vaginal infection from swimming.

Skin infections and stomach illnesses are much more common complaints, and these apply to everyone, not just menstruating women.

To reduce any risk of vaginal infection such as yeast infection or Bacterial Vaginosis, simply shower after every swim and ensure to change into clean dry clothes right after.

All of these risks are general, and have nothing at all to do with swimming on your period!

Will I leave a bloody trail in the water?

This tends to be one of the bigger worries! Interestingly, the water pressure in the pool will work against gravity, effectively counteracting your blood flow.

So you may notice when you get into the pool that your menstrual flow temporarily stops or slows, though this may be interrupted if you cough laugh or sneeze, which changes the water pressure.

So in actual fact, it’s not that your period stops- just that the blood doesn’t flow outside the vagina while you are in the water. In the event of the pressure changing, leak a small amount of blood, however, this is not likely to be seen.

As soon as you get out of the pool, you will also find that your flow returns to normal, so it’s important you are wearing an effective menstrual product such as a menstrual cup or tampon to save any embarrassment.

Can you swim with a period pad?

Pads work by readily absorbing fluids, so wearing a period pad in to the pool is not a good choice! The pad will immediately absorb water, become heavy and sodden and not much good to you for absorbing period blood!

Thankfully there are many alternative period products out there to choose from, a menstrual cup or tampons being the most popular options.

However, if neither of these options suits you, you can also now buy period swimwear, which looks just like normal bikini bottoms or swimming costumes but have a leakproof lining to help absorb menstrual blood.

Can you go swimming with a tampon?

Tampons are the most popular menstrual products to wear while swimming, these are worn internally to absorb period blood so you don’t have to worry about leaving a blood trail in the pool!

Tampons do a great job of absorbing menstrual blood while you are swimming, and are discreet too (just keep the strings in check!)

Some women have concerns about tampon use and Toxic shock syndrome (TSS), if you are looking for a reliable way to manage your period when you go for a swim but don’t wish to wear tampons- perhaps for health or environmental reasons, a menstrual cup is well worth looking in to!

Are there sustainable alternatives to using tampons when I go for a swim?

Yes! Menstrual cups are growing in popularity and are a great alternative to tampons. Menstrual cups are worn inside the body during menstruation to collect period blood for up to 12 hours, and can be emptied at a time suitable for you.

These are much more environmentally friendly than tampons and can also save you lots of money!

The Lancet public health have conducted a systematic review of the effectiveness and safety of wearing a menstrual cup, and the research suggests that TSS risk is lower when using a menstrual cup compared to tampons.

If you use a menstrual cup, follow the instructions to ensure you clean and use the product properly. We’ve written a great blog post about the safety of menstrual cups which is a great read!

Swimming can relieve period cramps

Swimming can actually ease the aches and pains of menstruation and reduce fatigue. When you exercise, this triggers your body to release endorphins which act as natural painkillers. Some gentle exercise is also great for your mental health!

Provided you eat well and stay hydrated, it’s perfectly healthy and good to go swimming during your period.

Can I delay my period until after I go swimming?

This one will involve a trip to the doctor! You can visit your gp if you would like to delay your period til after a holiday or a trip to swimming pools. We always advise thinking carefully about natural ways to manage your period, but ultimately this is your choice!

If you are on the combined pill, under doctor supervision, you can skip your placebo pills and move straight on to another pack in order to skip your period.

Will I be eaten by sharks?

This is a surprisingly common fear, stemming from a fear that a shark’s sense of smell- which is notoriously powerful- might attract sharks if you go swimming while on your period.

First of all, shark attacks happen very rarely in the first place. And, in fact, there have been no recorded cases in the international shark attack file suggesting sharks are more likely to attack women on their period.

Marie Levine, the executive director of the Shark Attack Institute, spoke out about this, stating she has been out swimming with Hammerhead sharks while on her period and that the sharks showed no interest at all. More research is needed for sure, but it looks to be unlikely that you need to worry about sharks attacking just because you are on your period!

What’s the best way to manage periods while swimming?

This is most definitely a matter of personal choice!

However, it’s great to see that more and more options for managing periods are appearing- currently, the popular option would be tampons but menstrual cup use seems to be steadily on the rise as we become more aware of the impact our plastic use has on the environment.

Period swimwear and menstrual sponges are also great environmentally friendly ways to manage periods. 

FAQs about Swimming and Periods

Can I swim during my period?

Yes, you can swim during your period. Using a tampon, menstrual cup, or period-proof swimwear can help manage your menstrual flow while swimming.

Can I wear a pad while swimming?

No, pads are not recommended for swimming as they can become heavy and uncomfortable when wet. Pads do not provide adequate protection in water.

What is the best way to manage my menstrual flow while swimming?

The best way to manage your menstrual flow while swimming is to use a tampon, menstrual cup, or period-proof swimwear. These products are designed to provide protection and comfort while swimming.

Can swimming in a pool affect my menstrual flow?

No, swimming in a pool does not affect your menstrual flow. However, it is important to change your tampon or menstrual cup every few hours to prevent leaks and maintain hygiene.

How can I stay comfortable while swimming during my period?

To stay comfortable while swimming on your period, choose a tampon or menstrual cup with the right absorbency level for your flow. You can also wear period-proof swimwear for added protection and comfort.

Is it safe to swim in open water while on my period?

Yes, it is safe to swim in open water while on your period. However, be sure to follow proper hygiene practices and use a tampon or menstrual cup to manage your flow.

Can swimming help alleviate menstrual cramps?

Yes, swimming can help alleviate menstrual cramps. The buoyancy of the water can help reduce pressure on the uterus and ease cramps.

Can you swim with a menstrual cup?

Yes, it is safe to swim with a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are designed to collect menstrual blood and are made from medical-grade silicone or latex, which is non-absorbent and will not become saturated with water.

Menstrual cups create a secure seal in the vaginal canal, which helps prevent leaks while swimming. It is important to empty and clean the menstrual cup before and after swimming to maintain proper hygiene.

Can you swim on your period with a pad?

While it is technically possible to swim on your period with a pad, it is not recommended. Pads are designed to absorb menstrual blood, but they are not waterproof and can become heavy and uncomfortable when wet.

Pads can shift around during swimming, leading to leaks and embarrassing situations. It is best to use a tampon or menstrual cup, or period-proof swimwear while swimming on your period for added comfort and protection.

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