Running on Your Period with a Menstrual Cup
Running on Your Period
Periods can be an inconvenience, there’s no denying that. But just because it’s that time of the month, doesn’t mean you need to drop everything and snuggle up on the couch, unless of course, that’s what you want to do! We can still do everything and anything, including exercising our bodies while on our period. We’re gonna look at why running is so good for you, what feminine hygiene products you can use, and why the menstrual cup is the best for running on your period.
Running is a great form of exercise, which can improve your mental concentration, your fitness level, and your metabolism. It’s even been said that one hour of running may translate to increasing your life expectancy by 7 hours! While being on your period can be annoying in general, your running should not be impacted. Look at Uta Pippig who won the Boston marathon in 1996, who finished with blood pouring down her leg!
Your hormone levels will change leading up to your period, and some women may be more greatly affected by these changes. Some will feel more sluggish and tired, while others may feel no difference in their bodies or energy levels, during their periods. Either way, a study in 2011 found that there was no difference in oxygen consumption, energy used, or heart rate in a group of female rowers at different times in their menstrual cycle. This means you don’t really need to be concerned about timing your menstrual cycle with trying to optimise your performance levels, with something such as running.
So if you’re feeling good, and wanting to go for a run, then go for it.
Why Use a Menstrual Cup While Running?
Tips for running on your period:
- Menstrual cups can collect about 30ml of fluid, which means checking and changing it less frequently, what if I have heavy flow?
- Menstrual cups are safe enough to be used for up to 12 hours, perfect for long-distance or endurance running
- Menstrual cups are mostly FDA approved, which means it’s tested and safe for your body
- You don't need to carry extra supplies on long-distance runs, or worry that you didn't bring enough
Will a Menstrual Cup move around or fall out?
Vaginas are super powerful things. That’s the short story.
The long story is that the muscles in your vagina are so strong, and can contract and hold, which means a menstrual cup can’t just slide out unexpectedly without you actual pushing, and pulling on the cup.
The action of running, jolting up and down constantly, shouldn’t impact your menstrual cup either. You may find however, that you need to push it in a bit further than usual, just to secure it a little more if you do feel the cup shifting inside. Or if the stem is poking you, then you might need to trim and shorten it a little.
Why Not a Tampon or Pad?
What about running on your period with a pad? Or running with a tampon?
- Pads can shift when you’re running
- Pads can get sweaty and smelly especially when you’re exercising and sweating already
- Pads can cause chafing when you’re running
- Tampons can only absorb about one teaspoon or 5ml of liquid which means you’ll need to change often
- Tampons need to be changed regularly and this can impact your long distance running or marathon training
- You have to carry extra tampons in your running belt or shorts for long distances
Anything You Can Do, I Can Do while Bleeding
Periods are a fact of life, like death and taxes, but just because we get our periods once a month, doesn't mean we need to stop doing the things that we enjoy. So get out there and go running on your period or exercise on your period. Periods might slow us down a fraction, but using a menstrual cup can help make your period easy and fuss free, while going for that relaxing run!