Good news – yes, you can go swimming on your period! If it’s a hot summer day at the beach or you’re swimming laps at the gym and the monthly bleed has arrived, you shouldn’t have to worry about the fear of leaving a trail of blood or being attacked by a shark in the ocean (yes, that’s a legitimate fear some women and people with periods experience while swimming). It’s safe to hit the water on your period, as long as you wear a tampon or menstrual cup while you’re swimming. We’ve got the facts on swimming on your period and what period products can help and which one’s you should probably altogether avoid.
Tampons are specifically designed to absorb period flow before it can leave your body which makes them one of the best products to use for swimming on your period and you won’t have to worry about signs of your period showing in the water. Pads are made to absorb period flow too, but as we all know they’re worn outside of the body and would be great at absorbing all that pool water too, hello soggy diaper bikini! So, do yourself a favor and leave the pads behind and snag a tampon. All Tampax tampons can be worn while swimming in any kind of water and only Tampax tampons have a LeakGuard Braid to help stop leaks before they happen to give you all-day comfort and protection for up to 8 hours. Check out how to insert a tampon and practice a few times before you head out to the water especially if wearing a tampon is new for you. Be sure to tuck the string into the lining of your swimming suit before you leave the bathroom, and you should be set.
Like tampons, menstrual cups are worn internally and can be worn while swimming in any kind of water. Menstrual cups will add to your options for pool day period solutions but there are some important things to consider. If you’re looking to pack light and make room in your beach tote, a menstrual cup might be a good choice since they’re made of medical grade silicone and are reusable, you only need to pack or wear one and can use it swim after swim for up to one year. It’s invisible and mostly sensation-free if inserted in the right position. Good new, since you can wear a Tampax Cup for up to 12 hrs at a time, it allows you the freedom to insert at home and remove at the end of the day. A downside though of period cup is because they are reusable, if you need to clean and reuse while out and about, you will need to clean it by rinsing with mild soap and water every time before you reinsert it, which could be challenging in a public restroom at swimming pools, lakes, or beaches…you do not want that menstrual cup getting any amount of sand left on it. Yikes.
Being on your period might cause your face to break out with pimples and blotchy skin — and that's not great for a day out on the water. Reach for a high SPF sunscreen especially formulated for your face. Top it off with a tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone and hide redness. If all else fails, snag some oversized sunglasses and a hat or cap that suits your style and shades your face from the sun.
Stomach bloating and period cramps also have no place at the beach or poolside. Steer clear of salty, fried and unhealthy foods — as well as caffeine. Stay hydrated with water, herbal iced tea, cool refreshing lemonade and fresh fruits and veggies. Some people swear by hot water and lemon to reduce bloating. Figure out what works best for you.
It’s complicated. But yes, it may appear you’ve stopped bleeding when you swim. Simply put, it’s physics at work. Because water creates more resistance than air, when you’re swimming in a pool, lake, ocean, even your bathtub – there is pressure against the opening of your vagina that can temporarily (yes, temporarily) help keep blood from coming out. Don’t get any ideas that swimming altogether stops your period (one could only wish) - once you exit the water, the pressure is gone and you’ll likely start bleeding again.
Fair question and the simple answer is no, period blood does not attract sharks. So, breathe a sigh of relief, your beach vacation that perfectly falls on your period can go on! No worries and no shark attacks! While a lot of people like to joke about this, the science behind it proves that there’s no correlation between menstruating people and an increase in shark attacks. The amount of blood lost throughout an entire period cycle (lasting anywhere from 3-7 days) is merely 6 tablespoons, so the small trace amount lost during an ocean swim would be very low and unlikely to send nearby sharks into attack mode.
There you have it. Your answers and guide to can you go swimming on your period. Plus, you’ll get some peace of mind the next time you swim in the ocean on your period.