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:
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.
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How To Go To The Beach On Your Period
This article was medically reviewed by Rebecca Levy-Gantt, MPT, DO. Dr. Rebecca Levy-Gantt is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist running a private practice based in Napa, California. Dr. Levy-Gantt specializes in menopause, peri-menopause and hormonal management, including bio-Identical and compounded hormone treatments and alternative treatments. She is also a Nationally Certified Menopause Practitioner and is on the national listing of physicians who specialize in menopausal management. She received a Masters of Physical Therapy from Boston University and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. This article has been viewed 354,677 times.
All week you’ve been looking forward to a beach day with your friends when suddenly hello! you’re on your period. But don’t cancel just yet! With the right supplies and just a little planning, you can swim, sunbathe, and play with the rest of your friends.
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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.
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?
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What’s The Best Period Protection For Swimming
While pads and panty liners won’t help you in the water, you have a few period protection options when it comes to swimming: tampons, menstrual cups, and menstrual discs.
When in comes to tampons, you want to pick the size and protection level that will make you feel comfortable, but with the lowest absorption possible. Higher absorbency tampons have been linked to an increased risk for toxic shock syndrome a bacterial infection that can be deadly.
Its important to avoid leaving tampons in for more than eight hours, says Gianni Rodriguez-Ayala, MD, who works in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwell Health. Selecting the right tampon for your particular body and flow can make it easier to avoid habits that could lead to TSS. Whether you want a more traditional tampon, or the organic variety, is up to you.
If you’re worried about TSS or just find tampons uncomfortable, a menstrual cup or disc can be a great option . If you’re new to reusable period protection like cups and discs, use this handy guide to learn how to insert and remove them.
Another option? Period-proof swimwear. With a similar construction to period-proof underwear, period-proof swimwear can help you avoid any leaks or stains when you’re menstruating. Brands like Ruby Love offer cute options that can act as your sole protection or as backup to a tampon or cup.
No You Won’t Get Eaten By Sharks
Jaws really has done a number on people in the modern day, but were here to tell you that period blood does not attract sharks. A lot of people joke about it , but extensive research has shown that theres no correlation between shark attacks and menstruating swimmers or divers. To date, there have been no reports of people being attacked on their periods, and many people happily take trips and go diving when theyre on their time of the month. So its good news all around its safe to swim in the ocean even if youre on your period. You wont bring any sharks to the beach!
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What To Do When You Hit The Beach
If youre on a beach, make sure you position yourself not too far from the nearest café or toilets, so you can change tampons easily. If youre out in the wilds and there are no toilets close by, you may need to hide behind some bushes or improvise with a beach umbrella. Whatever you do, dont buy into the notion that swimming on your period is a no-no. Just make sure you plan ahead and have fresh protection with you.
Bonus: Swimming May Actually Help Relieve Any Pms
Still need convincing before you hop in the water on your period?
A 2018 study looked at 70 people who experience PMS and concluded that swimming significantly decreased many of their physical and psychological symptoms.
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How Do I Know If I Started My Period
Your first period may be very light or short . It could be bright red or only a few reddish-brown spots. It is normal for your period to last 2-7 days. Periods are part of your menstrual cycle and usually come every 21-45 days. How long or often it comes may change during the first few years .
Every personâs body is on its own schedule. Before your get your first period, you might notice changes in your:
Is It Unsanitary For Other People In The Water
Swimming pools have all kinds of chemicals to keep the water safe to swim . If you bleed in the water even a little bit those chemicals will prevent the transmission of blood-borne illnesses and will keep the water safe for other swimmers.
If youre in the ocean, its a vast vast thing with so many things floating around out there. The least of your worries is a little bit of period blood. Seriously, dont sweat this one.
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Will Swimming On My Period Make My Cramps Worse
Exercises like swimming or light jogging can actually help to relieve cramps, rather than worsen them.
If you still dont feel comfortable swimming during your time of the month, youve always got sunbathing to fall back on! Sometimes you cant beat a little snooze in the sun.
Have you tried swimming on your period before? Let us know your top tips over on .
Youre More Likely To Get An Infection If You Go Swimming On Your Period
Swimming on your period shouldnt increase your chances of vaginal infection. There are, however, a few things to consider.
As a Mooncup Advice Assistant, I can assure you that vaginal infections are not an uncommon complaint around the time of your period, but they should not be ignored. Generally, the vaginal pH is acidic but, during menstruation the vaginal pH becomes more alkaline. Because of this, some people are more prone to getting a non-serious bacterial infection at this time regardless of whether they are swimming or not. If you feel you may have an infection or have noticed any change to your vaginal discharge , you should get it checked out by a doctor or nurse who will be able to help.
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Is It Unhygenic To Swim On My Period
No, its not! If you have a tampon or menstrual cup in, its extremely unlikely that any blood will get in the water, unless you leak through the tampon or menstrual cup. If you have a leak or choose to go without period protection, youre still covered. Pools are chlorinated to protect swimmers against the spread of bodily fluids such as sweat, urine, and menstruation. Even salt water pools have chlorination to prevent this, so youre not endangering your health by swimming on your period.
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. People 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
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So Here’s The Lowdown On Swimming On Your Period
Swimming on your period is one of those things we’ve all got questions about, right? Firstly: can you swim while on your period? And, secondly: what should you wear to protect yourself while swimming on your period?
It’s an age old topic that gets raised most summers and holidays and it can make your period feel like more of a hassle than it usually is. It’s no surprise then, that so many of us wonder whether or not we’ll actually be able to enjoy a dip in the pool without the fear of leaving a trail of period blood wherever we go, or noticing wayyyy too late that our tampon string has been hanging out of your bikini bottoms, that is.
So let’s get to the bottom of what the deal actually is with swimming during your TOTM?
The Sharks Will Come For You
Its an old wives tale that sharks will be able to sniff out your period blood and come after you. According to Steve Kajiura of Florida Atlantic Universitys Shark Lab the sharks dont even want our blood! What theyre interested in is detecting amino acids in the water, such as those excreted by parts of marine animals that sharks are actually evolved to eat.
So, can you swim with sharks on your period? Marie Levine, founder and executive director of the Shark Research Institute, told Mother Jones: Ive been diving for decades and 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.
Okay, so you can swim on your period without fear of sharks or infections, its not unhygienic, no-one will be able to tell and your cramps may even be relieved! But
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No Matter What Don’t Let Your Period Stop You From Enjoying A Swim Or A Day At The Beach
Being active can actually help counteract the stuff that makes periods suck, like cramps and bloating.
Basically, a decent sweat session cranks up the production of mood-boosting endorphins, which can actually act as a natural pain reliever for cramps, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Even better: Exercise can also help prevent period cramps . So swimming on or near your period is totally something you should be doing.
The bottom line: No, your period doesn’t magically stop in the water, but water pressure can prevent your flow from coming out. It’s still wise to use a tampon or menstrual cup to avoid leaks as you come out of the water.
Top Things To Know About Swimming On Your Period:
Itâs not unhygienic to swim while youâre on your period
You wonât leave a bloody trail in the water
You can use a tampon, sponge or a menstrual cup while swimming
People often write to us asking if itâs okay to swim while on their period. Will you get terrible cramps, get an infection, or be eaten by sharks? Not likely.
If you enjoy swimming during the rest of your cycle, you can still swim when you have your period!
Still, if youâd rather lie on the sofa and eat pizza, thatâs also a valid option. Read on for answers to all your period swimming questions.
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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, including Kt’s period swimwear collection, which absorbs up to 3 tsps of liquid .
Swimming On Your Period Is Unhygienic
Periods are perfectly natural! They are not unsanitary and shouldnt be treated as a biohazard. If youre in a large body of water and your period does happen to start unexpectedly, then chances are it will be so diluted so it wont even be visible.
And as a final point to ease any concerns that swimming on your period could be unhygienic, many swimming pools are treated with chlorine in order to protect swimmers from anything that could end up in the water .
As with any other form of exercise, we recommend emptying your Mooncup before and after swimming.
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Its Unlikely Youll Be Noticed
Many of us are under the impression that the moment we get in the water while were on our periods, well instantly start leaving a trail. This also isnt true in fact, the truth is almost closer to the opposite. It may sound weird or unbelievable, but the water pressure coming from a swimming pool or the ocean can actually stop your flow! The only time this water pressure may drop while youre swimming is if you laugh, cough, sneeze, or move around, but any fluid that comes out shouldnt be noticeable. Its such a small amount of blood each time, the water should dilute it before that happens. Of course, the pressure will drop again when you get out of the water and everything will go back to normal, but if youre wearing a tampon, menstrual cup, or our period-proof swimwear, this shouldnt be a problem.