Can You Swim On Your Period?

How to swim on your period

If you’re planning an epic trip to the beach or a weekend at the lake, there is no reason your fun should be stopped by your period. Don’t huddle up on a lounge chair in sweats and a beach towel over your lap—put on your favorite bikini and jump right in. 

That being said—there are some things you can do to make your time on the coast or in the pool more comfortable and stress free if it’s that time of the month. If you’re feeling any sort of anxiety about swimming on your period, let’s nip those fears in the bud right now.  

Do You Stop Bleeding In The Water?

Your body will not stop doing the important work of clearing your uterus just because you want to jump in the pool. You’re going to keep bleeding. Now—there’s really no need to worry about this, especially if you’re in a chlorinated pool. That chlorine is designed to stop the spread of germs through bodily fluids (like sweat, pee, and blood) and will kill the germs before anyone knows they’re there.

If you’re worried about someone noticing blood around you, that’s not likely to happen. The water pressure can stop or even slow your flow while you’re swimming. But, just to be safe, especially if you have a heavy flow that day, wear a tampon or a menstrual cup. They’ll help stop the blood before it leaves your body, just as it does on land. 

The Beach Is Your Friend—Just Like The Pool

You can swim in the ocean just as freely as your backyard pool. Obviously, the amount of water in the ocean is going to dilute the chances of germs being spread through bodily fluids. And if you’re worried about sharks—don’t be. A shark will sense menstrual blood in the water just like any other fluid, but you’re just as likely to be bitten by a shark when you’re on your period as when you’re not (which, for the record, is 1 in every 11.5 million). So no—Jaws won’t be after you just because you’re dealing with Auntie Flo.

Can I Get An Infection When I’m Swimming On My Period?

It’s very unlikely you’ll get any sort of vaginal infection when you’re swimming. If you are swimming in contaminated water, it usually will irritate your skin or give you an awful stomachache if you swallow it.

Period or no period, it’s always a good idea to shower after a dip in the pool. Chlorine can often irritate the vulva or vagina, and that’s no fun. Yeast infections or UTIs aren’t super uncommon if you’re swimming every day in the summer. A quick rinse off can help prevent that sort of thing.

How To Swim On Your Period

So, you’ve decided not to let your period stop your fun—good for you! Now what? Well, here are a few top tips for enjoying the pool when you’re dealing with flow.

  • Choose great protection: Check out the list below for some ideas on what you can wear for added protection in the water.
  • Stay hydrated: It’s always important to stay hydrated in the sun, but especially when you’re on your period. Take your favorite hydration flask or water bottle with you and sip all day.
  • Choose a high SPF: Sunscreen is always important to protect your skin. And if breakouts are part of your period, then make double sure and slather on some SPF before spending the day poolside. Your skin is likely more sensitive than usual, and you don’t want to add the pain of a sunburn to period cramps.
  • Take care of cramps: Swimming can actually help relieve cramps and bloating, which is awesome. But you don’t want to be caught in the middle of the lake and have awful period cramps. Staying hydrated can help with cramps, and anti-inflammatory medication can also help keep them at bay.

What To Wear When Swimming On Your Period

You’ll probably want to wear some type of feminine hygiene product while you’re swimming on your period. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Period panties for swimming: There are some great (and cute!) period swimwear options out there. A little extra absorbency down there, and you don’t have to worry. They’re usually a nice dark color, so if there is some extra leakage, no one will notice a stain.

    Oh—it’s important to note that period underwear isn’t the same as period swimwear. While a pair of cheeky proof® would be super cute poolside, the second you jump in the pool it will soak up the water and the blood will have nowhere to go.
  • Tampons: You’ll be just fine with your favorite brand of tampon when you’re swimming. If you’re worried about tampon strings—don’t. There’s no reason to be ashamed of your body and its glorious processes. But if you’re worried—ask a girl friend to check on you once in a while—they’ll get it.
  • Waterproof pads: Yes, they are a thing. If you usually wear pads on your period, there’s no reason you can’t keep doing so if you’re headed to the beach. Find some waterproof pads that you can easy tuck into your suit, and you’re good to go.
  • Menstrual cups: Like tampons, menstrual cups will keep your flow hidden while you’re swimming. Change it out like usual when you’re done swimming.

Just Keep Swimming

As always—don’t let your period stop you from enjoying life. Find what works for you and is comfortable in a swimsuit and enjoy those summer days. There’s no reason you shouldn’t and a million reasons you should. See you at the beach!


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