A Complete Guide to Swimming on Your Period
For many Australian women, swimming is a popular and enjoyable activity, especially during the warmer months. However, one common concern that can arise is whether it's safe and comfortable to swim while menstruating. The good news is that swimming on your period is perfectly safe and manageable with a few simple precautions and the right products.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about swimming on your period, debunk common myths, and provide practical tips for a worry-free swimming experience. So grab your swimsuit and let's dive in!
Is it Safe to Swim on Your Period?
Contrary to popular belief, it is completely safe to swim while menstruating. Menstrual blood is sterile and does not pose any health risks to oneself or others in the water. The water in swimming pools is treated with disinfectants to maintain cleanliness, further reducing the chance of any potential transmission of bacteria or infections.
Debunking common myths;
Myth: Swimming in a pool while menstruating will contaminate the water.
Fact: Menstrual blood is not significantly different from other bodily fluids that regularly enter the water, such as sweat or urine. Proper pool maintenance and disinfection practices eliminate any potential health risks associated with swimming on your period.
Myth: Swimming can cause increased menstrual flow or prolonged bleeding.
Fact: Engaging in physical activities like swimming does not impact the duration or intensity of your period. Menstrual flow is determined by hormonal changes in the body and is not influenced by water activities.
Myth: Tampons are the only suitable option for swimming while menstruating.
Fact: While tampons are a popular choice for swimming, they are not the only option. Menstrual cups and period-proof swimwear are also effective alternatives that provide comfort and protection in the water. It's important to choose the option that best suits your needs and preferences.
Can you swim with a menstrual cup?
Yes! Menstrual cups or menstrual discs are our number one recommendation for leak-proof protection while swimming. Because they create a seal within the vagina, they keep your flow fully contained (when worn correctly) and are undetectable from the outside - meaning there’s no risk of strings poking out of your bikini. The 8 hour wear time means you can spend a whole day at the pool or beach without worrying about awkward public bathroom changes. If you have a heavy flow, opt for a higher capacity menstrual cup so you can get closer to your full 8 hours of wear.
As menstrual cups don’t absorb your flow like tampons or menstrual sponges, they won’t absorb water as you swim. Hooray to no soggy tampons or unsightly strings!
Can you swim with a tampon?
Yes - tampons are a good disposable option for swimming on your period as they are worn inside the body. Keep in mind that tampons do come with a cotton string which hangs outside the body, so they may not be the best option with those ultra-skimpy swimmers! It’s best to change your tampon regularly when swimming, as they can tend to absorb water as well as your menstrual blood, which can put them at full capacity quicker than when you’re on dry land.
Can you swim with a menstrual sponge?
Absolutely! If soggy tampons strings are not your thing try a menstrual sponge instead. Sponges are worn inside the body below your cervix to absorb your flow, similar to a tampon. They’re great to wear during sports, while swimming and can even be worn during sex. Although they don’t have a string, Beppy Sponges are easy to remove and come individually wrapped for convenience.
Can you swim while wearing a pad?
Disposable and reusable pads are a big no-no if you’re planning a dip in the water. Because they are worn outside the body to absorb your flow, swimming with a pad in your swimsuit will lead to major leaks and leave you with a heavy, waterlogged pad. Not ideal! Choose a period product that is worn internally instead, like a menstrual cup, menstrual disc, tampon or menstrual sponge.
Can you swim with period underwear?
Even though period underwear has leak-proof fabric, it won’t keep you protected from period leaks while swimming and are not suitable to wear in the water. Like pads, because period underwear is worn on the outside of your body, it will soak up water while swimming and lead to some seriously messy overflow! It’s best to keep your period underwear for dry land-based adventures only.
What if you swim on your period with no period protection?
It is believed that the pressure created by water outside the body can slow down your menstrual flow, and some people find that their period stops completely while in water. You can test it out at home in the bath if you’re curious! But for leak-proof protection, it’s always best to wear a menstrual cup, tampon or sponge. While period leaks at the beach won’t attract sharks (that’s a myth), it can be messy when you exit the water. And leaks or free bleeding at public pools are best avoided altogether for hygiene reasons.
Swimming on your period should never hinder your enjoyment of this popular pastime. With the right menstrual products, proper hygiene practices, and a positive mindset, you can swim with confidence!