Imagine this scenario: The weather forecast promises a beautiful day in the mid-80s with clear skies, and you’ve planned a fun-filled day at the lake with your family. Your beach bag is meticulously packed with sunscreen, a towel, and a stylish hat. The cooler is stocked with refreshing beverages, snacks, and an abundance of ice. It seems like the perfect day until you slip into your swimsuit and realize that your period has decided to join the party.
For many women, this unexpected visitor can feel like a deal-breaker for enjoying summer water adventures. You might be tempted to cancel your plans or change into a tank top and shorts, resigned to watching others have a blast in the water from the safety of the beach. But guess what? You don’t have to!
A prevailing misconception is that women can’t swim during their “time of the month,” but let’s debunk that myth right now. You absolutely can indulge in a refreshing dip in the lake or pool even when Aunt Flo is visiting. There are a few key considerations to ensure this happens without the worry of any embarrassing mishaps.
One of the primary concerns when swimming during your period is the fear of leakage and visible stains on your swimsuit. While the water’s pressure in a lake or pool can sometimes help minimize menstrual flow, it’s not foolproof. Plus, when you’re in the water, you’re likely to be moving around, which can exert pressure on your abdominal muscles and potentially lead to some leakage.
While swimming with a sanitary pad is not recommended, both tampons and menstrual cups are perfectly safe for internal use. In fact, many competitive swimmers rely on these options when practicing or participating in events during their period. And if you want extra peace of mind, you’ll be delighted to know that period-friendly swimwear is now available in the market as a stylish and effective solution.
Tampons for Swimming During Your Period
When it comes to swimming during your period, tampons is your trusty allies. Most tampons are crafted from materials like cotton, rayon, or a combination of these fibers. Organic cotton tampons have also made their debut in the market, offering a natural option for those who prefer it. While it’s true that tampons can absorb some water, they remain absorbent enough to collect your menstrual flow effectively.
Menstrual Cups: A Sustainable and Convenient Choice for Swimming
Menstrual cups are ingenious, flexible devices typically made from rubber or silicone. They are designed to be inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood during your period. Unlike tampons, which absorb menstrual flow, menstrual cups don’t absorb anything, making them an eco-friendly option. You can easily remove, empty, wash, and reuse them, which not only reduces waste but also makes them a fantastic choice for swimming.
If you’ve ever worried about your tampon string peeking out of your swimwear, menstrual cups offer a discreet and string-free alternative. Depending on the brand, these cups can be worn comfortably for 4 to 12 hours. Be sure to consult the instructions provided with the product to fully grasp how to use it effectively.
Swimwear Designed for Your Period
While this option may have a slightly higher initial cost, the ability to wear it repeatedly makes it a cost-effective choice in the long run. Plus, you’ll appreciate the convenience and peace of mind that comes with having swimwear designed to accommodate your period.
In addition to addressing concerns about potential leaks during your period, let’s dispel a few other common myths:
Myth 1: Swimming on Your Period is Unsanitary
Some may worry that swimming during their period is unsanitary, but it’s important to understand that most pools use chemicals to maintain cleanliness and prevent the transmission of bloodborne diseases. The amount of blood typically lost during a period is relatively small, ranging from four to twelve teaspoons over a few days. Moreover, any blood that does happen to enter the water will be significantly diluted, especially in a vast natural body of water like a lake.
Myth 2: My Period Could Cause a Shark Attack
There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the idea that swimming in the ocean while on your period would increase the risk of a shark attack. While it’s true that sharks can detect blood in the water, they can also detect other bodily fluids, such as urine, sweat, and mucus, which contain amino acids. Sharks primarily prey on fish and typically only attack if they feel threatened.
Myth 3: I Can’t Swim, I Have Cramps
Contrary to the belief that cramps should keep you out of the water, research has shown that swimming while on your period can actually help reduce cramps. Aerobic exercise, like swimming, triggers the release of endorphins, which can act as natural painkillers and alleviate menstrual discomfort. So, don’t let cramps hold you back from enjoying the water during your period!