What If I Do Bleed In Waterwould People Be Able To See It And Would It Attract Sharks
Nope and nope! Those are only myths. If youre planning to get into the bathtub or go swimming without using a tampon or menstrual cup, rest assured that there will be no red, bloody trail behind you, says Dr. Haughton.
Most women bleed only 60 milliliters over five whole days, says Dr. Haughton. Even if youre free-flowing into the pool for five hours, theres no way that water is going to turn into the Red Sea with the amount of blood coming out of your body. Even a whole pool full of people on their periods wouldnt give the water even the tiniest pink tinge.
And theres absolutely no chance that this tiny amount of menstrual blood will attract every shark in the ocean , so lets put that theory to rest right now. Whenever I hear the shark myth I think, How much do you people think youre bleeding? Its not like youre waving around a bloody arm, says Dr. Haughton.
Take A Bottle Of Water With You
At a certain point, youre going to empty and clean your cup whether youre at an equipped beach, or an isolated bay with only mother nature as your toilet. A bottle of water is all you need to clean your cup.
Just remove your menstrual cup and use the water from the water bottle to rinse it out over the toilet . Reinsert your cup and use any extra water to rinse your hands. Thats it.
As a general rule, make sure to wash your hands before removing or inserting your menstrual cup.
Know how to clean your menstrual cup in a public bathroom before you decide to take a dip, so you can relax and enjoy a worry-free period even when you swim.
When Should I Avoid Swimming
Its always your choice whether to swim during your period or at any other time, for that matter. If you dont feel up to it, you have every right to make the best choice for your body at that time.
If you have symptoms like a fever or feel otherwise unwell, its best not to swim. Staying home to rest is always a safe option.
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How Does It Work
Im going to try The Swim One Piece, with its Modifier Swim Technology, a fancy name for a double layer gusset , which can hold up to 10ml of menstrual blood, the website claims.
The upper mesh layer fights bacteria and stops smells, apparently, while the bottom layer is water repellant presumably stopping your menstrual blood flowing into the water around you as much as it stops the water getting in.
Modibodi calls this wonder suit period and pee-friendly for the beach or pool, which brings to mind going to Waterloo and the dye our parents told us would show up if you dared wee in the water.
On reflection, its great that Modibodi have considered the issue of adult incontinence as well as menstruation. The suit promises to keep you protected from pelvic floor mishaps or light periods and spotting, acting as extra protection on heavier days. Im going to test it on the medium-flow day two of my period.
Of course, therell be no need for that mythical dye if my period blood leaks, crimson red, into West Norwood Pool on a Tuesday night…
You Are More Likely To Get An Ear Infection Than A Vaginal Infection From Swimming
Skin infections, ear infections, and stomach illnesses from swallowing contaminated water are more common complaints than vaginal infections from swimming . Always check with regional health authorities for information on water quality at local swimming spots. Wet bathing suits can cause pH changes and irritate your vagina and vulva, leading to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis . To reduce the risk of a yeast infection or BV, you can change into dry clothes after you swim. If you notice any itching, burning, or unusual discharge after swimming, talk to your healthcare provider.
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So How Do You Go Swimming During Your Period
First and foremost, pads are unfortunately out of the question can you say wet diaper? If you are a menstrual cup or tampon user, however, youre in luck! Your protection will work just as well in water as it does on dry land.
If you choose to use a tampon, however, while absorbing your blood it also will absorb a little bit of water. This isnt harmful over a short period of time, but because pool and seawater can harbor bacteria that can upset your vaginal pH and cause infection, its important to change a tampon immediately before and after swimming.
If you are swimming with a menstrual cup, however, no fluid can get in, and as the capacity is much higher than a tampon, you are much less likely to leak. Whichever you choose, just make sure to keep an eye on your flow and regularly empty or change. If youre worried then try out your protection in the bath first to give yourself some peace of mind.
Getting The Facts About Your Period
Today, you can find accurate and reliable information about your period. But it hasn’t always been that way.
In the past, people heard and believed a lot of untrue things about periods. Periods were only talked about in whispers, if at all. Typically, you learned about your period from your mother or girlfriends, but a lot of things that were passed down were wrong. Much of what people thought they knew was based on cultural beliefs that considered females and menstruation to be impure.
Schools tried to fill the knowledge gap, but it wasn’t always enough, especially if families stood firm in their inaccurate ideas. Even now, menstruation is taboo. Many people will not talk about it.
Let’s have a look at some of the big truths about your period.
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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 Large 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.
Dont Eat Too Much Salty Or Sweet Food
Very salty foods can worsen cramps and add to the water retention that some women experience during their periods, warns Dr Tania.
Sweet food isnt much better either, which is bad news when all youre craving is a Kinder Bueno. Sweet food create chemicals in your body that increase your pain receptors making you feel worse. Trying to be conscious of eating lots of fruits and vegetables, plenty of water or herbal tea and regular meals will go a long way to reducing period pain and PMS, says Kelly Mulhall.
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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.
The chlorine used in swimming pools as well as the sediment in the sea may irritate the vagina or vulva . Thats why its recommended you always shower after swimming. If this is something youre worried about, getting changed out of wet swimwear may also reduce the likelihood of irritation or infection.
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.
Facts About Swimming And Menses
Most of the information that you find recommending restricting your physical activity during your period is based on cultural beliefs, taboos, and myths about menstruation. Being in the water while you are menstruating does not put you at an increased risk of infection.
Also, there are no changes in your body during your period that would make you more susceptible to injury while swimming.
Another common fear about swimming in the ocean during your period is the thought that menstrual blood will attract sharks. Although potentially a compelling reason to pass up on a swim, the consensus among shark experts is that people who are menstruating do not attract sharks.
The most important thing to consider when swimming with your period is to be sure that you have adequate protection to control your bleeding.
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Sodoes Your Period Actually Stop In Water Even Just A Little
First, let it be known that water itself will never make your period disappear. It doesnt matter if youre in water or on the top of a mountain or in a ditch, your period still comes, says Michele Haughton, MD, an ob-gyn at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.
Basically, barring any medical problems like hormonal disorders that can make you skip periods, your uterus will keep on shedding its lining whether you dive into the ocean or not, says Dr. Haughton. So, spending a week in your bathtub isnt an effective way to skip out on your monthly visit. Womp.
But getting into the water can make it seem like your period goes away. That’s all thanks to the pressure of the water surrounding your vaginait can counteract the force of gravity that helps blood flow out of your body. Theres no biological magic going on here, its all physics. When youre in water theres some opposite pressure happening, says Dr. Haughton.
Think back to your high school physics class for a sec: You may remember the word buoyancy. Buoyancy, also known as upthrust, is the upward force a liquid exerts to counter the weight of an object . Water has way more resistance than air, says Dr. Haughton. So water can counteract the blood flowing out of the vagina.
Essentially, the water doesn’t make your period stop, so to speak, but it can block the exit.
No It Wont Attract 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 round 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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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.
Wear A Pad Or Tampon For More Than 4 Hours
It’s easy to get caught up in your everyday activities, but don’t leave the same pad or tampon in all day. “You should be changing your tampon/pad every 3 to 4 hours to avoid an unpleasant odor, bacterial buildup â which can lead to infections â as well as the dreaded bleeding through your pants,” Jones says.
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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 .
You Can Delay It If You Want
If you really are worried about going in the pool or the sea when youre on your period, there are options for delaying it. If youre using the typical combined hormonal contraceptive pills, for example, you can just continue on with the next pack instead of taking the placebo pills or missing a week.
You can also talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about switching to a pill set that means you only have a period every three months or so. If youre an avid swimmer and you love nothing more than being in the pool or the sea, this might be a better option for you.
Wed always recommend talking to a trusted professional before switching up your birth control, or any medication. Better to be safe than sorry!
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So Does That Mean I Don’t Need To Wear Tampons In Water
Even if your period tends to be light, tampons and menstrual cups can save you when you exit the water. The second you come out of the water your period will start flowing again, says Dr. Haughton. And then you could have a stain on your bathing suit.
They also come in handy if you tend to have a lot of blood clots .
Dont Sleep With Your Tampon In
Leaving a tampon in for longer than four hours runs the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome . “This is when toxins from the staphylococcus aureus bacteria start to seep into the bloodstream and can cause life-threatening reactions,” says Kelly. “You may begin to experience fever, rash, dizziness and vomiting. If you suspect you may have TSS then seek medical advice asap.”
Don’t forget to change your tampon either. This seems an obvious one, but its particularly relevant for people who have light periods. We generally advise women to change their tampon every four hours, says Dr Tania. Dont leave it any longer due to the risk of bacterial infection. This isnt as much as a problem for women who bleed heavily, women with lighter periods need to make sure they remember to change the tampon even if its not finished.
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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.
What Safety Measures Can A Pool Facility Take
Disinfection levels in the pool itself are key, says Diane Weaver, aquatics manager at Cleveland Clinic Akron General LifeStyles Stow. When we look at our chemical levels, we look at a lot of different things. Chlorine and pH work together to maintain disinfection and make sure that you dont feel itchy when you get out of the pool. Proper levels of pH are also important for healthy skin, she adds. When you get into the pool, your body should feel like its at its normal state.
Dont be afraid to ask what disinfection looks like at your pool either. You should feel comfortable asking the lifeguard or management staff, What is your chlorine level? or What type of disinfection is used in the pool? Weaver says. I would say probably 95% of the pools around here use chlorine.
Weaver says chlorine levels since the COVID-19 pandemic began are set to at least three parts per million. Even in non-pandemic times, however, chlorine levels need to be maintained at least two parts per million. If theyre under two parts per million, I would not swim there, she says. I would also encourage people to have a set of their own equipment, instead of borrowing. That would be like, your goggles, anything that you use for lap swimming your fins, flippers. The less shared equipment, the better. I would also be asking, What does your facility do to disinfect things in between users?
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