Can you go Swimming on your Period?

Whether you're swimming for exercise, or splashing around with friends, swimming is a great activity. But what if your period starts while swimming? Can you go swimming on your period with a pad? Are there best tampons for swimming?

In this article, we're going to look at the tips and tricks for swimming while on your period. We will also look at the various options and figure out which feminine hygiene product is the most discreet and safest for you to use while swimming on your period. Hint: it's the menstrual cup! 

Can you go Swimming On Your Period

Can I Swim on my Period?

There is no reason to stop your everyday activities, such as swimming, just because you’re menstruating! In fact, studies have shown that by increasing your heart rate with an activity like swimming, your body releases more beta-endorphins, which are internal opioids, or ‘natural painkillers’ which can relieve those usual period cramps! We find that by focusing on something else, either having fun with your friends in a pool, or swimming laps for exercise, you actually tend to forget how much pain you’re in!

Does your Period Stop in Water?

Not exactly, but your period may seem as if it’s not as strong when you are submerged in water. Your period hasn’t stopped, but the water pressure around your body limits the flow, which means less blood is coming out. This is due to the lack of gravity, and because of the pressure from the water, whether it’s from a pool or the ocean.

Can i go Swimming on my Period without a Tampon?

You don’t need to wear anything while on your period, but you might find that blood comes falling out when you hop out of the pool, due to the lack of pressure, and force of gravity, so make sure you are prepared!

Can you Swim with a Tampon?

Yes, you can. In modern society, most women will have used a tampon during their periods, due to it’s discretion and ease. Ideally, the best tampons for swimming will be a fresh, new tampon just before entering the water, and changing the tampon as soon as possible when you leave the water. This is because tampons are designed to soak up the menstrual blood, and some pool/ocean water can be absorbed through the tampon. This can cause some bacteria or chemicals to be absorbed through the vagina.

Can you Swim on your Period with a Pad?

Not really. Pads, like tampons, are absorbent, they absorb the blood or water around them. If you wear a pad in a pool, the pad will absorb the water causing it to swell, or get very full. This will increase the size, and might be noticeable through your bikini bottoms. The underside, sticky part of the pad where it sticks onto your underwear will also lose it’s stickiness, which can cause the pad to move or fall off.

Alternatively, while there isn’t really waterproof sanitary pads for swimming, there are a type of swimwear padded panties (but designed so they don’t look padded!) which are made to soak up any menstrual blood that comes out while in the water. Unfortunately, we haven’t tried this yet so we can’t comment on how well it works. 

Can I Swim using a Menstrual Cup?

Yes, we thought you’d never ask! Of course you can swim using a menstrual cup! As you know, the menstrual cup is worn internally, inside your vagina, to collect your period blood before it leaves your body. As it is completely inside your body, it is very discreet. Better than a tampon string hanging out of your bikini bottom!

You may however, find the need to wear a firmer menstrual cup depending on the level of activity you plan on doing. The rim of the cup needs to be firm against the wall of your vagina to ensure there are no leaks. Here, at Menstrual Cupaholic, we even tried Scuba Diving with a cup in, and this worked perfectly, even when submerged at 100 feet!

Menstrual cups can also be worn up to 12 hours, depending on your flow. This makes it ideal for those long summer days at the beach!

Is it Unhygienic to Swim while on my Period?

Having your period is not unhygienic, but how you manage your period can be. If you wear a tampon while swimming, some of the pool or ocean water can be absorbed by your tampon. Not ideal to get bacteria or chlorine in your body.

Luckily, menstrual cups do not absorb any water as they are designed to collect, not absorb your menstrual blood. As they are generally made out of medical grade silicone, they are very safe and hygienic for your body, as long as you regularly wash and clean your cup.

Will Sharks attack if I am on my Period?

Major myth thanks to a major Hollywood movie! Sharks do not actively try to hunt down humans. In fact, according to the Florida Museum, most accident shark attacks on humans occur to over 90% of men! Not menstruating women! Most shark attacks occur because a surfer or swimmer splashing around looks like an injured turtle or seal from below. When sharks come up for a inquisitive bite (because they don’t have hands to check us out), they soon realise that we’re not a tasty, fatty seal, and quickly swim off. 

Remember, even a heavy period flow is about 8 tablespoons worth over the week, which is basically a drop in the ocean. Period blood also is not actual fresh ‘blood,’ but the old lining of your uterus and cervical mucus; the waste product that is leaving your body naturally. While sharks have amazing senses of smell, what they’re really looking for is amino acids from the tasty gooey, fishy bits, not bony, non-fatty humans!

Will Everyone know I have my Period?

Periods happen to basically half the population of the world, but unfortunately, most people don’t discuss it enough. It is seen as a taboo subject, but is actually as natural as going to the toilet to pee or poo! It is nothing to be embarrassed or scared about, and in some cultures, people even celebrate and throw big parties when their daughter’s first get their periods! 

If having a big party when you have your period isn’t your thing, then luckily, there is no telling sign that you have your period. No-one knows, and there is no big sign on your forehead, even when you feel there is! 

Menstrual cups are very discreet, with no fear of a dangling string in that teeny tiny bikini, and no running off every 3 hours needing to change a used tampon. Menstrual cups are so helpful in managing your period, being safe enough to be used for extended periods (!!) of time, and will not cause your body to absorb harmful bacteria or chemicals.  

The Bottom Line

Swimming is a lovely and leisurely activity that can be sociable, or done in solitude, and just because you have your period doesn't mean you need to change your plans. At the best of times, your period can be messy and a nuisance, but having your period shouldn't stop you from hitting the pool or the beach. Can you go swimming on your period? We definitely think so! Menstrual cups are a great option for those who want to continue swimming on their period. These little cups are so smartly designed so that you barely remember you even have your period, leaving you to enjoy your summer days by the pool, and continue being the mermaid you are!