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Guide to Swimming on Your Period

A question we get asked a lot is ‘ Can I go swimming on my period?’ And of course our answer is always a very firm YES. You can swim. In fact, as the old adverts liked to remind us- you can run, jump, skate, swim… you can do it all! If you want to, of course. Here’s a really quick guide to swimming on your period, plus a quick rundown of how our period swimwear actually works.

Swimming on your period

Did you know that swimming on your period can be one of the best ways to ease painful cramps? And that the water will support your body, helping you to feel lighter and less bloated? Not only that, but the effects of a gentle swim will help to boost your mood, relieve stress and keep your muscles stretched and hydrated? 

We’ve written about the benefits of swimming on your period in this post– suffice to say, we highly recommend it!

Swimming on your period without a tampon

So can you swim without a tampon? Yes, of course. In fact, we designed our period swimwear for that exact reason. Because we know that not everybody wants to use a tampon on holiday- perhaps for eco reasons, hygiene reasons or for comfort. We’re all different, and we’re all entitled to make that choice. 

So if you don’t want to use a tampon but you still want to swim, period swimwear is the perfect option.

Swimming on your period without period protection

So we know that you don’t have to wear a tampon, but can you swim without any period protection at all? Again- of course. But there are a few things you should keep in mind if you do. 

First and foremost- and this is one of the main concerns we hear from so many- there is a chance of leaks if you don’t wear any period protection. The chances of this happening in the water are very slim (more on that later) but when you exit the water it could happen. 

So if you don’t want to use anything, but you also don’t want to miss out, and you don’t want leaks to spoil your fun, we recommend keeping a dark coloured towel close by to wrap up in until you get changed. 

Guide to swimming on your period

Using period swimwear

Period swimwear means that you don’t need to either worry about tampons, or about keeping a towel close by when you leave the water. They’re a complete tampon replacement, designed to absorb up to 2 tampons worth of blood. 

How does it work?

So how does period-proof swimwear actually work? The magic, as always, lies in the gusset. It’s made up of three unique layers, and each layer is designed to do a different job.

The first layer sits next to your skin and is soft and breathable. This layer is designed to bleed into.

The second layer is highly absorbent. It will take in your period blood and lock it in, away from your skin.

The third layer is made from a water repellent fabric, so that water cannot enter the gusset, and period blood cannot leak out.

So you wear the swimsuit or bikini bottoms as normal, you bleed into them and then you wash them just as you would with a pair of period pants. 

Can I wear a period swimsuit on heavy days?

Our period swimwear is designed for a light to medium flow, so we recommend using a menstrual cup as a back up on heavier days. But you know your flow best- you might find that you don’t need any extra protection at all. 

Answering your period swimming questions…

Guide to swimming on your period

We know that our period swimwear and swimming during your period in general can be a little confusing. We’ve tried to answer as many questions as possible here, but do reach out if you want to ask anything else!

Can I wear my period swimwear to sit around the pool?

Yes, you can wear our period swimwear to lounge by the pool. In fact, we insist! That’s why we brought our the new colours- choose from deep pink, blue, tennis green and purple-, because period swimwear does’t have to just come in black. And why we created the new high waist design– because we know that’s a preferred style for many, and it just happens to be bang on trend for summer 2023!

Whilst out of the water, wearing period swimwear is just like wearing a pair of period pants, so we only recommend extra protection, such as a cup, if your flow is heavy. Otherwise, we’re pretty sure you can make a really cute splash this summer, and nobody will ever know you’re on your period!

Will period blood leak while I swim?

It’s unlikely that period blood will leak while you swim, but it’s something that so many of us worry about.

While you’re in the water, the pressure against the opening of your vagina temporarily prevents blood from coming out- but rememberer’s only temporary. So although it may seem like it, the theory that swimming stops your period is completely false. 

And it’s worth noting that if you laugh, cough or sneeze while swimming, that could change the pressure, and blood *might* escape. It’s likely to be a really small and unnoticeable amount, but if you’re kitted out in period swimwear, it won’t be an issue. 

Another point to note is that when you exit the water, the pressure is lifted, and your flow will return to normal. So again, wearing period swimwear will take care of this- and because the gusset does not allow water to enter, you can rest assured that blood will not leak down your leg either.

Guide to swimming on your period

Can I get an infection from swimming pool water?

There’s no evidence to suggest that swimming on your period can increase your chances of infection. But chlorinated pools might irritate your vagina (at any time during your cycle), so it’s a good idea to take steps to reduce the risk once you get out. 

  • Always shower after your swim- but NO soap or shower gel on your vagina. Water is all it needs.
  • Change into clean, dry underwear- preferably cotton, which is breathable. Obviously, our period pants are perfect as they’re breathable and moisture-wicking and will help to reduce the chance of infection.

Does your period stop in the water?

As discussed above, your period does not stop in water, although it might seem like it does. All that’s happening is that your flow is slowed down, and the water pressure temporarily forms a seal around your vagina to prevent blood escaping. 

Blood might leak out if you laugh or cough, and when you leave the water your flow will return to normal straight away. Period swimwear is the best way to prevent leaks in both of these instances!

Does your period attract sharks?

This is one period myth we’d really like to put to bed! No, no, no. Your period will NOT attract sharks. You will not leave a streak of blood in your wake if you swim on your period even without protection, and you will not find yourself top of the menu via period blood ‘smell’ either. 

If we wanted to get really technical about it, sharks aren’t actually attuned to sniffing out human blood at all, as we aren’t generally a part of their diet. It’s smaller fish they want, so that’s the blood they’re designed to detect. Plus of course, your period doesn’t really leak into the water anyway- so this is all myth and nothing else.

Does swimming make period cramps worse?

Swimming doesn’t usually make period cramps worse- in fact, for many it will help to alleviate period pains quite effectively. As you swim, your body releases endorphins, which are also known as ‘nature’s painkillers’. Swimming can also have a meditative effect, which also helps to ease cramps and can relieve stress too. 

Plus the motion of the water and the relaxation of the muscles as you swim will help to ease uterine contractions too (this is what causes period cramps) – so actually swimming is amazing if you’re suffering with abdominal pains caused by your period!

The bottom line on swimming during your period

Swimming is great exercise and one of the best ways to ease period cramps, reduce stress and cool you down in hot weather. There’s no need to miss out on pool-side fun this summer if you’re on your period- our period swimwear has got every body, size and shape covered!

Choose from our brand new colours on both adult and teen swim bikini bottoms and swim suits, and our adult swim bikini bottoms are now also available in high waist too. 

So whether you’re bloated, you’re post-birth and self-conscious ,or you just prefer a high waist style, we’ve got you. Make this the summer you get in the pool and have some fun, rather than sitting out on the sidelines all because of your period. 

Related posts

Swim England Announce Changes to Period Swimwear Rules

Why We Launched the New Period Swimwear 

The Benefits of Swimming on Your Period

Can You Wear a Pad While Swimming?

Does Your Period Stop in Water?

Make a Splash with WUKA x The Wave Project

FAQs

Is it ok to swim on your period without a tampon?

Yes you can swim on your period without a tampon- in fact, many prefer not to insert chemical-laden objects into their vaginas! We recommend period swimwear as a safe and reliable way to swim on your period- but of course you can choose to swim without any protection at all. Your body, your choice. 

Is it bad to swim while on your period?

It’s definitely not bad to swim on your period- in fact there are so many reasons why it’s a great idea! Swimming helps to reduce stress and anxiety, eases cramps and is great exercise. Plus, it’s fun! No need to miss out.

What do female swimmers wear on their period?

Traditionally, competitive female swimmers have worn tampons during their period, but this is changing. Swim England recently announced changes to their rules surrounding period swimwear, which is great news. It is possible to have a safe and sustainable period and swim at the same time


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