Yes, You Can Go Swimming on Your Period
By: Anika In't Hout
You have a beach day planned or were hoping to go to the pool with friends and then, that time of month comes along. The idea of swimming on your period, for most girls, is a nightmare. Even though you may be tempted to just skip the swim session for fear of leaving a trail of blood behind you, as it turns out, you actually can go swimming during your time of month. Here are all the facts you need to know on swimming during your period.
Is it unhygienic to swim on your period?
While some people worry that going swimming during your period will contaminate the pool, that’s actually not true. According to Clue, a period tracker app, swimming during your period is not unhygienic at all. If you use a tampon or menstrual cup, it’s really unlikely that your blood will leak out into the pool. Even if some blood does come out or if you forget to wear a tampon, any blood that would come out of your body would just be treated with chlorine. So don’t stress, if you leak, it’s not unhygienic and you’re not contaminating the pool or hurting anyone’s health in any way.
Will I leave a trail of blood?
This question is a big reason why a lot of women don’t go swimming on their period. But the answer is nope, you definitely won’t. Most women only bleed about three or four tablespoons over their entire period, so swimming laps for a couple of hours won’t turn the entire pool into a bloody scene from a horror movie. Plus, if you do leak, with the help of chlorine, the water won’t even turn red around you.
Will I be attacked by sharks?
Even though a lot of vagina-havers think every shark in the ocean will be attracted to them on their period, that’s not actually the case. Not only is there no sure evidence that period blood is a factor in shark attacks, but a lot of divers who have been diving for years haven’t had issues with sharks when aunt flo came to visit. So if you're on your period, go to the beach and don’t stress about the sharks.
Will my period stop in the water?
Yes, this is a real thing. It has to do with the pressure of the water which makes it so blood won’t come out of the vagina. But if you move a certain way like if you cough or laugh or sneeze, you might leak a little bit. While you can totally choose to not wear a menstrual product if you don’t want to, the second you climb out of the water, your period will start up again. So most of the time, it’s best to play it safe and wear a menstrual product when you go swimming.
Can I swim with a pad?
You can, but probably shouldn’t. Pads are meant to absorb period blood, but when you wear one when you swim, it absorbs a bunch of water too. This will leave you feeling super uncomfortable, almost like you’re wearing a diaper. Ew. So there are other menstrual products you can try.
Can I swim with a tampon?
Yes, you definitely can. Tampons are quick to insert and as they sit in a high part of the vagina, they were designed to absorb period flow before it can even leave your body which makes them great for swimming. If you’re not sure which one to go with, try one that’s meant for sports. Also, you may need to change it once or twice both during and after your swim.
What about a menstrual cup?
Absolutely. Menstrual cups are good too because they are easy to use, feel almost invisible if placed in properly, can be worn for up to twelve hours and are reusable. Just make sure you wash it thoroughly after every use because the last thing you want is some sand down there next time. Yikes.
Can I swim with period cramps?
The idea that you can’t swim with period cramps is actually a total myth. While the last thing you may want to do when you have period cramps is work out, doing aerobic exercise like jogging or swimming gets your heart pumping and your body releasing endorphins which gives you a natural, feel-good high and helps relieve cramps.
Will everyone know that I’m on my period when I swim?
Periods are a totally natural thing and there is no shame when it’s your time of month. If you are feeling uncomfortable about the idea of everyone knowing if you have your period while you swim though, remember that chlorine makes it impossible to see a trail of blood leaking out of your body. Periods do have the tendency to stain your swimsuits though so if that is something you worry about, try buying a dark-coloured swimsuit or swim shorts to put over your swimsuit to make staining almost impossible to see.
There you have it, your guide on how to go swimming with your period. While it may seem uncomfortable or nerve-racking to hit the pool or the beach during your time of month, with these tips and answers you can dive right back into swimming. Yes, periods can suck sometimes, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing the activities you enjoy.
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About the Author
Meet Anika, our content creator and copywriter! In her final year at Western, she’s studying media and creative writing. Even though it’s been a while since she had to deal with the awkwardness of buying her first bra, she is excited to join the Apricotton team and make bra shopping a little bit easier for tween and teen girls. You can connect with her here.