July 07, 2021 4 min read

To swim, or not to swim on your period this is a common dilemma for many. Perhaps you have a vacation all planned out, but then you happen to get your period at the same time. Or maybe, you just want to stick to a regular swimming exercise routine even during “that time of the month”. In such cases, your period doesn’t have to get in the way of your plans or your lifestyle!

In this complete guide for swimming on your period, we will address common myths and provide helpful tips that will answer all your questions on the topic. Let’s get started!

A smiling woman relaxing by the side of a pool

Myths About Swimming on Your Period 

Myth 1: You Will Leave a Bloody Trail in the Water 

Seeing a trail of menstrual blood coming from your nether regions underwater is an unpleasant thought to many. The good news is: it doesn’t happen! This is because of water pressure and the scarcity of period blood. 

Water pressure decreases your period’s flow. The pressure may change momentarily if you move vigorously, sneeze, or cough; but the amount of blood that can get expelled is generally too small to be visible. 

Furthermore, on average, a person only sheds 2-3 tablespoons of blood during their period. Considering that you would only be in the water for a few hours at best, there simply isn’t enough period blood to make a trail. 

There is even less likelihood of leaving blood in the water if you wear suitable period products for swimming, which we will talk about later. 

Myth 2: Period Blood in the Water Is Unhygienic for Everyone

A properly chlorinated pool has the capacity to neutralize microorganisms if they are carried in period blood. The same goes for microorganisms found in other body fluids and body parts.

If you’re swimming in the ocean, the small amount of period blood will just be diluted in the vast briny expanse. In relation to this, fun fact: did you know that ocean water is considered an antiseptic? So, what could a bit of body fluid (like period blood) possibly do? 

Myth 3: Swimming On Your Period Will Cause Infections

Any part of the body can get infected in an improperly maintained pool or a dirty/polluted natural body of water. Skin infections, ear infections, and stomach illnesses are far more common swimming-related diseases.

However, along with the above, it’s also possible to develop an imbalance in the vulva’s environment as a reaction to chlorinated water. Then, this could pave the way for yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. This is why showering after swimming is extremely important, as it can help you avoid many of these issues. 

Take note, however, that water doesn’t really get into the vagina while swimming. It only comes in contact with the external part, which is the vulva.   

Myth 4: Swimming On Your Period Worsens Cramps 

Ohcontraire! In fact, aerobic exercise like swimming actually helps your body release precious endorphins. These can act as your body’s own painkillers, which might help in reducing cramps. Along with killing the pain, endorphins released during swimming also increase your positivity and happiness. Go get those happy hormones!  

Myth 5: Swimming On Your Period Attracts Sharks 

For anyone who has seen shark-related thriller movies likeJaws or47 Meters Down, the fear of blood in the water can bevery intense. We talked about the possibility of period blood getting in the water. Does it attract sharks? Thankfully, no.

To date, there is no proof that sharks will go out of their way to attack someone who is on their period. Let’s remember that period blood is not really like regular blood. That’s why it smells different, even to us humans. Period blood is composed of secretions from the uterus, mucus, and other components. 

Even though sharks can detect all body fluids (not just period blood, but everything else), there is no evidence that there is a correlation between shark attacks and menstruationaccording to the International Shark Attack File. Furthermore, studies show that even female divers can swim into the deep waters safely while menstruating. 

A female diver giving the OK sign

Helpful Tips on Swimming During Your Period 

Tip 1: Prevent Leaks With the Right Period Products for Swimming 

The main benefit of using period products while you are swimming is that you can have protection from leaks even when you leave the water. Leaving the water means leaving the water pressure that slowed down your period’s flow. Without the right period products, you could stain your swimwear the second you get out of the water. 

The rule of thumb is that you cannot use disposable pads. These can clump up and disintegrate in the water. On the other hand, reusable pads will soak up water, which lessens their effectiveness when you get out of the water. They may also be partially visible on bikinis.

The best option is to use a reusable menstrual cup. Most of the high-quality menstrual cups in the market can be left in place for up to 12 hours. In the absence of a menstrual cup, a tampon can be used.

Tip 2: How to Prevent Infections 

Showering before swimming in a pool helps to maintain hygienic waters for everyone to enjoy. This pre-swimming ritual helps to remove perspiration, sebum, and traces of other body fluids that no one would want in the water. 

Showering after swimming is another key hygiene practice. It helps to keep all external areas of the body from getting infected. The vulvovaginal area can also benefit from a nice shower, especially if you use the right intimate wash that can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the area.

A woman happily swimming in the water

Keep Infection at Bay, Any Day, The Natural Way 

Now that we’ve busted the myths and broken down the tips, you can dive into the waters knowing that swimming on your period is totally fine! Proper hygiene is always key. 

If you’re looking for an all-natural intimate wash that can restore the protective flora of the vulvovaginal area, look no further than illum’s Vsoap.

As a company dedicated to women’s health and wellbeing, we at illum, formulated Vsoap so that it effectively restores pH balance, fights infections, and keeps sensitive skin free from irritation. It’s perfect for your post-swim shower!


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