Ladies, gone are the days when you needed to cancel pool parties or beach outings with your friends because Aunt Flo decided to come by.
Now, you can go in the water without a worry in the world! We know a lot of you are still worried about going in water during your periods and have a lot of preconceived notions related to it.
But let us assure you that these beliefs in your mind are probably myths. Let’s take a look at a few common ones!
- Myth: It’s not safe to swim on your period.
Fact: Swimming during your periods is absolutely safe, and there is no proven threat to your body.
- Myth: It’s unhygienic to swim on your period.
Fact: If you use menstrual products such as menstrual cups or tampons, there are low chances of leakages. Even if blood leaks, it will be a minuscule amount that will dilute with water. Plus, the chlorine in the water kills any bacteria and viruses, so there is no harm to anyone.
- Myth: I can’t use menstrual products when I swim.
Fact: In fact, you must use menstrual products to collect the flow when swimming. Your menstrual flow may slow down, but there is no evidence that it completely stops.
- Myth: Swimming will worsen my cramps.
Fact: It’s the opposite – swimming being an aerobic exercise helps relieve cramps and mood swings. The release of endorphins after exercise is the reason for this. Endorphins act as your body’s natural painkillers and help you feel better.
- Myth: If I swim in the ocean, I will get attacked by sharks.
Fact: Again, there has been no such case yet – sharks can smell blood, but attacking women due to that? Never heard of it.
- Myth: I will leave a bloody trail in the water, and people will know I am on my period.
Fact: Firstly, if you are well protected, it is unlikely for blood to leak. And if it does, it will quickly mix with the water and leave no sign behind. So, there is no way people can know about you being on your period.
Now that we have busted all the myths, we can look at some crucial things to keep in mind when you decide to go swimming on your period.
5 useful tips for swimming on your period
Before canceling your poolside or beachside plans, read these 5 tips that can help you manage your period without compromising on fun in the water!
1. Choose the right menstrual products
Swimming on your period is safe. But, to make it comfortable, you must ensure using the right products. Some options are great for swimming during your period – they prevent leakages, helping you have a stain-free and stress-free swimming experience.
Tampons are a go-to option for people who want to swim on their periods as it stops any blood from leaking out. However, remember to change it frequently to avoid toxic shock syndrome (TSS). It’s rare but a life-threatening complication. You must also be careful and prevent the string from showing through your swimsuit.
- Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are even better than tampons – they collect more blood, are reusable, and can 100% prevent leaks if inserted well. You can also wear it for a longer duration – up to 12 hours. So, you can enjoy your pool or beach parties without having to take frequent bathroom breaks to clean your cup.
- But, skip the pads!
Pads are an absolute no-no if you have decided to swim during your periods. Unlike tampons and menstrual cups, pads are more exposed to water. It will absorb the water and make it heavy and uncomfortable down there. The water can wash off the adhesive, and there are chances that the pad may slip out from your swimsuit into the water. To avoid such situations, you should opt for a tampon or a menstrual cup for swimming during your period.
2. Wear period friendly swimwear
Nowadays, there is period-friendly swimwear that contains a hidden lining. It absorbs the menstrual flow and prevents leakages and staining. It can be an added protection on top of your tampons or menstrual cups. It is also beneficial for people who have irregular periods. So, even if they are unprepared and get their period unexpectedly while swimming, the period swimwear can prove a savior.
Similarly, period underwear works the same way as period swimwear by soaking up the blood. You can wear it under your swimwear.
If you are still worried about staining, go for darker-colored swimwear. The few cons of period swimwear and underwear are the hassle of washing it after every use and its high price. Nonetheless, it is a good investment if you love the water and frequently swim!
3. Drink enough water and stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is important for two reasons. Firstly, swimming is an exercise that can tire you. And second, periods induce physical symptoms such as fatigue and bloating. Thus, hydration is an absolute necessity to feel at ease.
4. Use sunscreen to protect your skin
Poolside or beachside means being out in the hot sun for long. It could mean painful sunburns. Since you might be already in pain due to cramps and sore back, you can avoid further discomfort by protecting yourself with sunscreen. Study the internet or ask your dermatologist for suitable sunscreen protection for you.
5. Use a contraceptive
If you are not comfortable with the idea of swimming during your periods, you can always choose a contraceptive for delaying or stopping it for a short while. Discuss this with your doctor, who will help you make an informed choice after looking at various factors.
Whether to swim on your period or not is still a personal choice. But, at least now you know that you needn’t fret if your period arrives during your pool or beach trips – you can very much enjoy the waters the same way you would normally!