It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had a period, you might go months – years even – wondering whether swimming on your period is okay… Will I leak? Could I catch an infection? Will I get cramps? Will sharks know?
It’s time for the myth to be debunked! You can swim on your period. And it’s super easy too.
Read on to find out our tips for swimming on your period.
Can you go swimming on your period?
In short, yes, you can go swimming on your period! Whether you go swim on your period is entirely your choice. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t! In fact, there are many benefits for exercising during menstruation, such as increased endorphins and easing cramps. If you’re not sold on menstrual swimming, check out these other top 5 period exercises you could try instead.
Will I leak if I swim on my period?
No. If you’re using the right products to manage your level of flow, you will not leak when you’re swimming on your period. Trust us, you won’t get attacked by sharks when you’re swimming whilst riding the crimson wave either!
Is it unhygienic to swim on your period?
It’s not unhygienic to swim on your period. When you’re using adequate protection for swimming on your period (see later in the blog), you won’t need to fear about blood leaking and contaminating the water! Even if you were to start your period while swimming, light blood will be diluted by the water.
Could I get an infection from swimming on my period?
Swimming on your period is completely safe and won’t increase your risk of getting a vaginal infection. However, pools with chlorine might irritate your vagina, which could cause you to develop a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis (BV). To reduce your risk of this as much as you can, make sure you take a shower and change into clean, dry clothes as soon as you can to avoid prolonged exposure to the chemicals. If anything seems out of the ordinary for your body or if there’s something you’re concerned about, be sure to book an appointment to see your doctor.
Here are the best products for swimming on your period
- Tampons – tampons are designed to catch your flow before it leaves your body, so your tampon will absorb your blood before it gets to the water. You should change your tampon every 2 – 3 hours so make sure you’re fully stocked and prepared if you’re out all day. Check out this guide on how to put a tampon in and prevent leaks.
- Menstrual cup – similarly to tampons, menstrual cups also catch your blood before it leaves your body. While you can wear a menstrual cup for longer and don’t need to bring extra products with you, you will have to wash it, which could be difficult in public areas.
- Period proof swimwear – period proof swimwear looks just like normal bikini bottoms, except they have another hidden layer which absorbs menstrual blood, so you don’t need to worry about leaking!
Fancy a swim during your period?
Natracare tampons provide effective protection both in and out of the water, so you’re free to make a splash!
If you find yourself in public toilets and needing to clean out your menstrual cup, be sure to carry our Safe to Flush Moist Tissue around. Simply wipe the cup before you put it back in and flush the tissue after!
Can you swim with a period pad?
Pads are designed to absorb all liquids, so they aren’t as effective when swimming as they’ll absorb the water you swim in as well as your menstrual blood! While it’s very unlikely that you’re going to leak as pads create an effective barrier, it might be a little uncomfortable to wear a sodden pad whilst swimming or when you leave the water!
Some conventional pads also contain super absorbent polymers (SAPs), which will quickly absorb water, and may not leave any room to absorb your period blood once you get out of the water. If you do prefer to wear a pad and want to be more discreet, you may want to use pads without wings.
Tips for swimming…
Without period products
Forgotten to pack tampons or pads? Fear not! You can still swim without period protection. The pressure from the water around you helps prevent menstrual blood from leaking. Don’t push your vaginal muscles and be prepared for when you get out of the water! As the pressure of the water is removed, you might experience leaks when out of the water.
In public pools
When you’re in a public pool, leaving a dark towel on the side to wrap around you as soon as you get out should hide any blood spills when the pressure is removed. If you’re wearing a tampon while swimming, there’s a chance that bacteria might get caught, so be sure to change to a new tampon and shower when you leave the pool.
At the beach
Similarly if you’re at the beach, keep your towel close to you. You could also swim as close to a public restroom/changing room as possible in case of a period emergency. There might not be any shops close to you to purchase period protection if you get stuck, so make sure you’re fully supplied before leaving!
If you don’t feel comfortable swimming during your period, and would prefer to sit out, just let your teacher know. They will be there to support you. However, if you don’t want to miss out you’ll be safe to swim anyway – it’s very unlikely that you’ll leak.
Will swimming on your period leave a blood trail?
No, you will not leave a blood trail if you swim on your period. The water pressure and buoyancy create an upwards force, which stops blood from coming out. Once you’re out of the water, gravity and the exertion of getting out of a pool can cause your period blood to come out, which is why you might want to still wear protection.
Will I attract sharks if I swim on my period?
Fear not! Sharks will not attack you while you’re swimming on your period. A shark’s sense of smell is powerful, but the amount you would leak (if you were to) would be very minimal. Plus, humans are not part of a shark’s diet and therefore they are not attuned to sensing human blood.
Can swimming delay your period?
Swimming does not delay your period. While it feels like the flow has stopped when you’re swimming on your period, your period is still happening. The rate at which blood comes out of your vagina is slower.
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 don’t feel comfortable swimming during your time of the month, you’ve always got sunbathing to fall back on! Sometimes you can’t beat a little snooze in the sun.
Have you tried swimming on your period before? Let us know your top tips over on Instagram.