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Swimming on Period: How do you go swimming during menstruation?

Updated on March 2, 2014

Can I swim during my period?
Short answer: YES!
However, there are a few things to keep in mind. This article should clear up any questions you may have.

Does your period stop while you are in the water?
No. You may have read on the internet it does, but this is not true. The reason some people think it does stop is because period blood comes out in small amounts, and is diluted in the water, so it usually can't be seen.

Can I wear a pad while swimming on my period?
No, you cannot wear a pad whilst swimming with your period. The pool water will cause it to become totally waterlogged, which will make it big and heavy. It will then either fall out in the pool (embarrassing), fall out when leaving the pool (also embarrassing) or weigh down your swimsuit while you get out of the pool, possibly making your swimsuit/bikini bottom sag down (again, embarrassing). It may even fall apart, leaving pieces of the pad behind in the pool. If you want to see for yourself what will happen if you wear a pad into a pool, get a clean, unused pad and submerge it in a glass of water. Leave it there for twenty seconds and then lift it out.

Fortunately, it is still possible to go swimming whilst on your period. Just not with a pad!

How to go swimming during your period

Option One - Tampons

Tampons are small bullet-shaped cotton products that are inserted into the vagina. These can be used whilst swimming and when put in correctly the tampons will not fall out. They don't feel uncomfortable to wear either-you should be able to forget you're wearing one. It can take some practice to learn how to put them in properly, so don't worry if it doesn't feel right once you put one in. Just take it out, throw it away and try with another one. You should wash your hands both before and after inserting a tampon.

I'm worried about using tampons because I am a virgin. If I use tampons will I still be a virgin?
Yes, you are still a virgin. The confusion with tampons and virginity comes from the fact that using tampons can result in your hymen breaking, which will be broken the first time you have sexual intercourse (unless broken before- other sports activities can also result in it breaking such as horse riding)
You are a virgin until you have sex. Using tampons is not the same thing as having sex.

Option Two - Cups
Cups are similar to tampons in the fact that they are inserted inside your vagina. However, cups are more environmentally friendly than tampons because they can be washed and reused, lasting several years (so they're cheaper too!). Like tampons, you should wash your hands before and after putting it in. Popular brands of menstrual cup include Divacup and Mooncup.

Option Three - Nothing
If your period is very light, you can try going in the pool not wearing anything. There is no chemical or anything in the water that will alert other people to the fact that you are menstruating, and period blood is released gradually so a small amount will escape notice. You can experiment with this in the bathtub.
Once you get out of the pool, make sure you put on a pad or use a tampon.

Isn't that gross?
No more so than sweat and urine, which are also in pools. Period blood is clean. Besides, chlorine is added to pools to disinfect them.

What swimsuit should I wear when I have my period?
Using a two piece suit can make it easier to insert your tampon straight before swimming if you want to wear a pad beforehand. It also makes it easier to take out your tampon once you've finished swimming and either put in a new one or change into underwear and a pad.

It is a good idea to stay away from white or light colored bathers, as no matter which method you use there may be a small amount of leakage.

What if my period is too heavy to not wear anything, but I'm not ready to use a tampon or cup?
You can't go swimming. Sorry, there's no other option. You can still have fun though by doing activities such as sunbathing, reading, doing a crossword or playing cards, or playing beach games such as volleyball.

Some excuses you can use as to why you're not swimming include:

  • I have an ear infection
  • I forgot my bathers
  • I have a bladder infection
  • The water is too cold
  • I feel sick


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    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 18 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I've had pool water wick up into my tampon, presumably via the string, so I wouldn't swim with anything but a cup!

    • profile image

      Justagirl 2 years ago

      You should also go to the bathroom and wipe whenever you can, i learned this from experience!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great hub! Now i can dip into the swimming pool without embarrassing myself !!! Voted useful