Swimming on Your Period: Myths and Advice

Can you go swimming without a tampon while you’re on your period? Can you use one if you go to the pool? Swimming during menstruation is still taboo and comes with a raft of misconceptions, but guess what? You can enjoy the serenities of the sea and pleasures of a pool during menstruation, and you can do it with or without protection.

Swimming on your period

Swimming on your period: Some deep-seated clichés

Menstruation. It’s a pretty awkward subject, and even today, it’s not something we talk about all that openly. Unsurprisingly, questions about swimming on your period remain relatively unasked. We want to bring a little clarity to the discussion, so here’s what we think about the myths and misconceptions of swimming during menstruation. 

Myth 1: Your period stops when you’re submerged 

Maybe you’ve heard something along these lines: your period takes a time out when you come into contact with water. Maybe you’ve even noticed your menstrual flow stops when you take a bath. Thing is, that’s not actually true. Water doesn’t really give you a timeout. What’s going on is water pressure temporarily and partially slows your flow, but that doesn’t mean it ever fully stops.

Myth 2: You can’t wear a tampon in a pool

If you want to swim during menstruation, whether in the sea or a pool, you can for sure wear a tampon. Having said that, we really recommend using menstrual cups instead, and that’s not only because of the health benefits: they’re also reusable! Just like when you use a tampon, your flow gets captured inside your vagina, and that means no leakage. Either way, whether you go tampon or cup, just make sure to change it regularly; hygiene is queen, and the risks of toxic shock syndrome and yeast infections don’t diminish at sea!

Myth 3: You can’t swim during menstruation without protection

When your flow’s a little weaker, say near the end of your period or when you’re swimming in open water that quickly dilutes your flow, swimming without protection is entirely feasible – and reasonable. Some of us practice instinctive free flow, which is all about willfully controlling your flow. Awesome, right? Never heard of it? Trust us. You gotta give it a try!

Swimming during menstruation: A tutorial

Swimming on your period without protectionSwimming during menstruation shouldn’t stress you out. For a serene menstrual cycle, whether ashore or adrift, follow these tips.

What type of menstrual protection should you choose? 

We don’t recommend using a sanitary pad at the pool, and that’s because it won’t just absorb your blood – it’ll soak up water too! The consequences? It’s not just the fact that you’ll be inviting a bunch of pool chemicals into your body – once your pad’s full of water, it’ll stop absorbing your flow. And that means more leakage with each and every kick and stroke.

For zero-stress swimming while you’re on your period, your best bet is to choose from one of the following forms of protection:

  • Menstrual cups: Being reusable, they’re perfect for strong flows.
  • Tampons: They work well and are almost imperceptible, but you need to be aware of the potential dangers to your health.  
  • Menstrual bathing suits: They’re made for swimming during menstruation without protection.

And don’t forget, tampons and menstrual cups need to be changed regularly, even at the beach! That’s major.

How can you swim during your period without a tampon?

Swimming while menstruating without a tampon is totally a thing. You can choose a zero-waste solution, like a menstrual cup, or you can just trust your body and your awareness of it, by which we mean you can learn how to instinctually flow freely. First, train yourself at home, where there’s no pressure. Work on detecting strong flow days, and then see if you can identify days when swimming during menstruation makes the most sense for you.

Finally, if you’re not comfortable with it, that’s cool – just be patient. The most important thing is to listen to yourself, no pressure, and go for it when you feel comfortable! Start slowly. Do a few short swims to gain confidence. And don’t be afraid of leaks. Menstrual blood isn’t dirty, and menstruating shouldn’t be embarrassing. Free yourself of your anxiety and society’s bogus shame. Rediscover the joys of swimming while preserving the environment – but, hey, only if you wanna!