Photo of a woman swimming in a swimming pool - Libresse

Swimming on your period is totally doable. Yes, really. In fact, it’s a brilliant way to ease cramps and PMS symptoms and improve your mood.

Read on for some practical advice before you dive in – then off you go.

Period poolside pointers

As sanitary towels are super-absorbent, they’re no use when you’re going in the pool during your period, as they’ll just soak up tons of water. Not only is this not a good look, it’s also unhygienic. Using a tampon when you’re swimming is the best option, as it’s discreet and will keep you secure. Pop a fresh one in just before you jump in and you’ll be fine.

If you’re worried about the tampon absorbing water, all you need to do is take it out soon after swimming. There’s also a small chance bacteria from the pool water could get picked up by the tampon, so being extra careful about hygiene when you take a dip is a good idea. Swim then use fresh protection and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

What to do when you hit the beach

If you’re on a beach, make sure you position yourself not too far from the nearest café or toilets, so you can change tampons easily. If you’re out in the wilds and there are no toilets close by, you may need to hide behind some bushes or improvise with a beach umbrella. Whatever you do, don’t buy into the notion that swimming on your period is a no-no. Just make sure you plan ahead and have fresh protection with you.

Swimming at school

Of course, you may not feel comfortable with the idea of using a tampon, in which case avoid swimming when your period is heavy. If you’re at school, just tell your PE teacher you’ve got your period and suggest you sit out the swimming lesson. But when your flow is lighter, you should be fine to swim without any sanitary protection.

Swimming on your period – myth or fact?

Illustration of a woman dipping her toe in water - Libresse
Myth 1: Your period stops when you get in the water. [1]

Truth: Nope. The blood may not flow outside the vagina due to the counter pressure of the pool water, but it definitely does not stop.

Illustration of a tampon on a pink background - Libresse
Myth 2: You’ll turn the pool red.

Truth: Again, no. A tampon will absorb the blood, so there’ll be no red ‘tail’ swimming behind you.

Illustration of a shark fin on a pink background - Libresse
Myth 3: Sharks will attack you if you’re on your period. [2]

Truth: Contrary to popular belief, sharks won’t smell the blood and decide you’re dinner.

Illustration of a woman holding her stomach on a pink background - Libresse
Myth 4: Swimming will make my period cramps worse. [3]

Truth: Definitely false. Light exercise such as swimming can actually help relieve period pain.


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