Swimming when you have your period: is it possible?

Femme se baignant dans une piscine

Having your period has already prevented around three quarters of women from swimming in their lifetime. 65% have already given up on wearing a swimsuit and 55% on going to the beach because of their menstruation .* Considerable figures which seem to reflect the reluctance of menstruating people to swim and practice aquatic activities during of their menstrual period . But why the question “ can you swim when you have your period ?” » does it arise, and does it even impose itself on some? What stops women from wanting to swim and bathe during their period ? Let’s dive into this issue together!

Can you swim when you have your period?

Why this question?

Can you swim on your period? The question may seem far-fetched or anecdotal. However, many people ask this question. Often in the privacy of a circle of very close friends or in the anonymity of discussion forums dedicated to specifically feminine subjects. And many respond negatively. The combo of swimming and periods, very little for them!

Indeed, having your period imposes its share of daily inconveniences. Among other things, there is embarrassment, discomfort, difficulty in obtaining hygienic protection and changing them regularly enough, increased management of intimate hygiene , mood swings, pain, inability to move. This weighs more or less heavily on the quality of life of women, sometimes going as far as school and professional absenteeism and social isolation. So when it comes to bathing, it can get even more complicated.

Swimming is an activity that requires physical effort, more or less intense of course, but still moving. This therefore requires being at least in good shape. You also have to put on a swimsuit, something that touches on delicate subjects of the body, intimacy and hygiene. Furthermore, for some, blood is dirty; so period blood in the pool or at the sea in the company of other people is even dirtier! Finally, bathing is often a non-obligatory secondary activity that can easily be avoided, even with regret. So much for the day at the beach on vacation. Hop, a little note from mom to be excused from swimming lessons at school. So many reasons that tip the scales towards the impossibility of swimming during your period.

What are the obstacles to swimming when you have your period?

In general, women refrain from swimming when they have their period because they are afraid:

  • not having the right periodic protection to absorb all of their menstrual flow;
  • to use internal hygienic protection such as a tampon or cup ;
  • having to change during an activity, in a public place;
  • not being sufficiently fit;
  • not being comfortable;
  • not being able to move properly;
  • not to be efficient;
  • a possible leak;
  • that the people around them realize it, find it dirty and make fun of them;
  • for their health.

Legitimate concerns, but ones that are nevertheless easy to dispel.

Yes, you can absolutely swim with your period

For a healthy woman, there is no medical or physical contraindication to bathing during her period. In the absence of unbearable period pain , very heavy periods or menorrhagia , disabling diseases or disorders ( endometriosis , PCOS, vaginal mycosis, etc.), it is entirely possible to reconcile swimming and periods. It is even recognized that sport can relieve menstrual pain and have a positive impact on morale. This is the case for gentle, flowing activities such as swimming. For those who suffer from pain in the kidneys during their periods, it is good to swim backstroke to relax the lower back muscles.

But then what are the instructions for swimming during your period ? First of all, it's about making the right choices. In terms of flow management, you can opt for the tampon, the cup , the menstrual swimsuit or even the free instinctive flow . Regarding organization and logistics, you can track your menstrual cycle to avoid any surprises and bring a bath towel and a change of clothes just in case. Next, it may be necessary to get rid of many preconceived ideas about swimming during your period . No, your tampon will not swell with water to the point where you can no longer remove it. You just have to make sure to change it quickly enough after getting out of the water to protect yourself against irritation linked to chlorine or salt. And no, period blood does not attract sharks!

Can you swim when you have your period? The answer is obviously yes (apart from specific cases of pain and disabling disorders). Should you swim when you have your period? The answer is obviously no. It’s up to each person to choose. But to help you and motivate you to take the plunge, Perdième provides you with its menstrual swimsuits , perfect allies for all your swimming!

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Written by cd

* French women, menstrual cups and the impact of periods on their lives . Ifop study for Intimina carried out by self-administered online questionnaire from April 17 to 18, 2021 with a sample of 1010 women, representative of the French female population aged 15 to 49 residing in mainland France. IFOP.