Swimming on Your Period

Of all the common questions we get about periods (and trust me, we get a lot), the most common is about one type of (not so) low intensity exercise: swimming.

Can I swim on my period? In short, yes. You can. But we know if you’re the questioning type (who considers alternative menstrual products), you aren’t satisfied with a short answer.

Here are the most common questions related to swimming on your period. When you’re done, you’ll throw on that bikini and dive into the pool - no matter where you are in your cycle.

Will sharks attack me if I go swimming on my period?

This nerve-wracking question seems to come to me not before but only after I have already flung myself into any body of water on my period, the Pacific Ocean, natural hot springs, hotel pool…..Hey! Have you seen Sharknado? It can happen!

Luckily, the answer is a very firm no. It’s a myth that sharks can detect blood from a mile away, and of course, menstrual blood isn’t just blood, it’s a mixture of uterine tissue, cells from the mucus lining of the vagina, and other bacteria that make up the natural flora of the vagina, not exactly a mixture screaming “I’m a tasty human cocktail!”

And, while sharks use electoreceptors to sense the electrical charges of prey and these charges do slightly increase when you are on your period, sharks only use these electroreceptors when they are about a meter away from their prey.

AND, in that case, you already have a big, big problem. To sum up…attacks from a Jaws-like great white shark are definitely not in your future as a result of swimming on your period, neither will there be any onslaughts from the Shortfin Mako sharks, tiger hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, or even any scuffles with over-aggressive goldfish that your nephew decided to plop in the family pool.

So thankfully, we’ve covered the most serious question involved with swimming on our periods. D.O.N.E.

Let’s move on.

Is it hygienic to go swimming on your period?

So, we’ve established that it is clearly not life threatening to swim on your period, but, um…is it hygienic?

Oí, absolutemente!

Three reasons it’s healthy to go swimming on your period:

  1. The water can actually slow down your period (Yay!), and when using an insertable product like a tampon or menstrual disc, blood is very unlikely to come out.
  2. Even if a little bit did leak out, it would become really diluted in the water.
  3. Think about what other bodily fluids are already in there. Really, what’s a bit of menstrual blood compared to the sheer amount of spit and pee that is already in there?

Chlorine is added to the water as a powerful disinfectant.

Misconceptions about swimming on your period

Something that never occurred to me (but sharks in municipal swimming pools do, apparently: see first paragraph) is that some women may be worried about a risk of infection from swimming on their periods. This is more than pretty unlikely, especially when compared to any skin infection or stomach bug caused from swallowing contaminated water that is much more common.

And, repeat: chlorine is added to the water as a powerful disinfectant.

However, the strong disinfecting power of chlorine also means that it is an irritant, and irritated vaginas are prone to getting those dastardly yeast infections or even their irksome cousins, snide bacterial vaginosis. In order to avoid this, take a shower after swimming to rinse off the chlorine and avoid sitting around in a wet, chlorine soaked bathing suit for long periods of time. Regardless, none of this is connected to being on your period.

What products are OK for swimming on your period?

So, swimming on your period is totally fine, in fact, it’s the opposite of unhealthy and unhygienic. Swimming can actually reduce cramps, and the endorphins that are activated are great for your mood and overall emotional and physical well-being (BONUS!!!).

So, now that we know it’s a go to go swimming, yes, on our periods, what about products?

Pads and panty liners

Pads and panty liners? No. Designed to absorb liquid, these products will inevitably become soaked the moment you submerge yourself into any body of water. Not only will these products not be able to absorb menstrual blood, they are going to sag like a wet diaper. Trust me, nobody wants that.


What about tampons? Do they soak up water, sand, and minute bits of seaweed?

They do not. You will not start to slowly bloat up like a puffy fish.

However, there’s risk of an unexpected “string incident” which sometimes occurs with bathing suits.

We are all familiar with it: if it hasn’t happened to us, we know someone who it has happened to. This unwelcome phenomenon occurs when the tampon string that hangs out sometimes shifts out of your bathing suit or bikini, leaving you feeling absolutely humiliated because society has told us to feel that way, and thus wondering for many hours, if not days, whether someone actually noticed.

In addition, tampons also require changing every few hours, and can sometimes cause an uncomfortable feeling of something being there.

Menstrual cups

What about menstrual cups?

Ok, better . . . but menstrual cups may take a while to get used to, and sometimes it takes a while to make sure that they are positioned well enough so that there is no leakage.

There must be answer. Are you dying for me to tell you? Get on with it already?? Enough with the sharks!

Menstrual Discs

Disposable menstrual discs absorb menstrual blood for up to 12 hours — count ‘em, 12!

Unlike pads and tampons, a menstrual disc molds to the shape of each woman’s body, making them extremely comfortable and reducing leaking.

The disposable menstrual disc is a body-safe and viable option for swimming on your period. This product not only reduces cramps and lessens period odors, it is not linked to toxic shock syndrome; AND, you absolutely can’t tell that it’s in.

In fact, swimming was one of the biggest pain points that necessitated the creation of menstrual discs in the first place.

No discomfort, irritation, or mysterious sensations. This product is FDA registered, OBGYN approved, and female founded! It allows women to remain comfortable, free of worries about string incidents, toxic shock, and leakage while rocking their best swimsuit and swimming during their menstrual cycles.


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