You are dying to take a dip in the water, but your period is coming... So is it possible to enjoy the pool with your period? Does the water stop the menstrual flow? We will try to answer these questions!
Can you swim during your period?
Although this idea is closely related to the taboo of menstruation, it is perfectly possible to swim during your period: swimming and the buoyancy of water in general helps to relax your muscles and make you feel lighter. This may help relieve menstrual pain.
However, this is by no means an obligation: if you are not comfortable with your period while swimming, if you have severe pelvic pain or simply don't feel like it, you should listen to yourself! However, there is no medical or physiological contraindication, with the exception of post-pregnancy lochia: you will have to wait a few weeks for your bleeding to reduce and for your cervix to close after giving birth before you can swim again. Otherwise, all the indicators are green to go to the beach with your period!
What are the myths surrounding menstruation and swimming?
There are some false beliefs when you want to swim with your period. Let's decipher them!
Water stops and cuts off your period
In the sea or in the pool, the water pressure slows down (but does not stop!) the flow of menstruation: the amount of blood lost is therefore minimal and is diluted in the water as you move around, with the exception of clots, which are generally retained in your swimsuit.
This is normal, and it is thanks to this property that menstrual briefs and swimsuits are easily rinsed before being put in the washing machine!
Positions with the pelvis flat, horizontally while swimming, also make it more difficult for blood to flow but do not stop the period. It is especially when you get out of the bath, that the flow and the gravity will take their rights, and that you have to make sure that you have your back...
Blood attracts sharks
Don't worry: if blood does attract sharks, it is above all the blood of their usual prey. Human blood, and particularly that resulting from the degradation of the uterine mucosa, does not have the same chemical markers for the shark's sense of smell. Moreover, the losses are minimal (on average 4 tablespoons over several days of menstruation) compared to a wound. If the shark is able to smell at most one drop of blood in a swimming pool, at more than 400m your menstrual flow is largely diluted in the moving water of the sea or ocean. There are statistically no more occurrences of menstruating women being attacked by sharks, although in general it is a bad idea to swim in infested water.
You can't put menstrual protection in water
In the case of a light flow, the blood will be imperceptible and diluted in the water, so it is indeed possible not to put menstrual protection.
In the case of a heavier flow, it is more a matter of good manners and community rules: would you even want to bathe in shared water where someone has had a heavy nosebleed or a deep sore has spilled? Then it might be a good idea to wear a sanitary protection. However, not all pads are suitable for swimming:
- Internal protection, such as tampons or menstrual cups, are perfectly suitable for swimming during her period
- External protection, with the exception of menstrual bathing suits, is not recommended: waterlogged, making them less effective, uncomfortable and less adhesive. It is therefore better to avoid disposable sanitary napkins at the sea and the pool!
Which period protection should I choose to go swimming with my period?
In order to swim with your period, it is important to choose a suitable sanitary protection. There are several options available to women!
The menstrual swimsuit
The menstrual swimsuit is a revolution on the market: it is finally an alternative for women to internal sanitary protection when swimming. Reserved for light flows, spotting or at the beginning/end of the cycle, the technology of the menstrual swimsuit makes sense when getting out of the bath. Its elasticated thighs and absorbent core, which does not swell, effectively retain more viscous fluids inside, such as blood, while the breathable lining allows water to drain quickly when leaving the bath, so it does not accumulate and weigh down the swimsuit.
This avoids the unpleasant surprise of blood running down your thighs after swimming. This way you have plenty of time to change!
At Elia, we offer several of them, with an absorbent zone that is deliberately low, in order to facilitate the flow of water when you get out of the bath! The blood, more viscous and heavier, is thus absorbed by our organic cotton core, even during a prolonged lying down. An absorbent zone that is too high would create a pocket of stagnant water that would weigh down the swimsuit. This design also reduces drying time. Do not hesitate to discover them on the site! In general, this external sanitary protection will make you forget your period at the pool.
The menstrual cup
The menstrual cup is, just like the tampon, an internal sanitary protection, but it has the advantage of not soaking in chlorinated or salty water and of being a reusable and zero waste alternative that speaks to us at Elia!
If your cup (or tampon) is well placed while swimming, you shouldn't feel it! However, it is important to follow the instructions for use when using it in water:
- Change your cup as soon as you get out of the water
- Wash your hands well before and after changing it (have access to a sink with soap)
- Do not exceed the maximum wearingtime
Free instinctive flow
Some women also practice free instinctive flow: this technique consists of controlling their menstrual flow by holding it back or releasing it on command. If you are already comfortable with this option, you can also practice it while swimming!