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Swimming on Your Period



5 min read

Thinx - Periodical - Swimming on Your Period

by Toni Brannagan | 06/06/2018

Thinx Inc - Thinx Tank - Doctors - Dr. Brandi Jones, DO

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brandi Jones, DO

As you all know, menstrual flows and cycles don't stop for anyone or anything, not even the beach vacay you’ve planned months in advance. Sigh. 

But can you swim on your period? While I don’t think there are *any* activities that your period blood flow should prevent you from doing, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that braving the beach while bleeding is stressful AF. I’ve been going away the same week in July (this week, lol) for coming up on ten years now, and guess what always ~flows~ ashore uninvited for a few days? I’m basically a period swimming pro, and now I shall impart all my wisdom unto you in these five tips.

So stop stressing, follow this ultimate guide, and start swimming!

no pads or anything *absorbent*

Pads and any other period products that sit on your underwear won’t work out if applied to swimwear. For one, any adhesives on the back of the pads will be rendered useless, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to fold wings around the bottom of my swimwear.

And unfortunately, while our period underwear's built-in tech is great at absorbing your menstrual flow… it’s not exactly waterproof. So while wearing your Thinx to the swimming pool will look cute, once you dive in, it’ll immediately fill with up to ½ - 4 tampons’ worth of water — and there won’t be anymore room for period blood.

stick to tampons and cups — and pack extra

Using a tampon or a menstrual cup under your bathing suit is your best bet. However, you should make sure you bring along extra period protection products, as well as locate a safe place to replace your products in a timely manner. There are no health risks related to swimming on your heavy flow or light period days, but keeping a tampon or period cup in for longer than recommended is still a big no! 

Worried about visible tampon strings? First thing’s first: periods are natural and menstruators really shouldn’t have to hide them — even Olympic swimmers gotta deal. If flashing string in a public area is still freaking you out, ask one of your buddies to check on you every once in a while. We bet both of you will forget by the time you start having fun in the sun anyway!

manage your PMS symptoms, or skip your period entirely

Unless you’re one of *those people* who enjoys exercising on your period, it can sometimes be rough doing strenuous activity (or… any activity) during shark week. Keep track of your menstrual cycle, and take the appropriate dose of painkillers the night before your beach day to stop period cramps in their tracks. To be fair, light exercise like swimming is said to alleviate period cramps naturally, so if your PMS symptoms such as period cramps are mild, you might be in the clear!

Alternatively, if you are on hormonal birth control like NuvaRing or the pill, you can consider consulting your doctor about skipping your placebo week – no period, no problem (but seriously, talk to your gyno first)!

ignore myths

Don’t let #FakeNews cramp your style!

Yes, swimming on your period is fine. No, it’s not unsanitary. And no, you won’t get attacked by sharks (TBH, if you’re swimming in shark-infested waters, your period is the last thing you should be concerned about).

don’t be afraid to sunbathe

Sometimes, no matter what, you just won’t be in the mood to hit the swimming pool and dress in your swimsuit. 

That’s okay! Pull your fab swimsuit over whateeeverr period products you want, grab your cutest sunnies, a good book, and set up shop poolside or on the sand. Just remember to apply pleeenty of SPF for extra protection from the sun. Anyone you’re hanging with should totally understand, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of!

Got any of your own hacks for swimming on your period? Share them in the comments!

Toni Brannagan is a writer and was the former Copy and Content Manager at Thinx.

Dr. Brandi Jones, DO is a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist serving some of the most vulnerable residents of the District of Columbia in a community health center based practice. She is a graduate of Hampton University, and earned her medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Jones is an outdoor cycling novice with big goals, and enjoys international travel experiences.

At Thinx, we strive to provide our readers with the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information. Our content is crafted by experienced contributors who ground their work in research and data. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked within the text or listed at the bottom to lead readers to the original source.

by Toni Brannagan

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