Did you know we can go swimming on period?
Whether it’s a dip in the sky-blue ocean, a cold water dip, or snapping that swim cap and getting some exercise at your local pool, swimming is a popular activity among all ages and genders, and a great way to maintain your overall well-being.
First things first: Can we go swimming on period?
Absolutely. It’s completely safe to swim on your period. In fact, swimming is a type of exercise you may find beneficial when on your period as some studies show that exercise can help alleviate menstrual cramps and PMS.
Around the world, people swim on their periods every day. From professional swimmers to people on vacation, it’s completely normal to take a dip in the pool during this stage of your menstrual cycle.
Let’s address some common questions and misconceptions, which are frequently rooted in biases and preconceived notions about menstruation and period blood.
Is swimming on your period hygienic?
Hygiene is one concern that people may have about heading to the pool to swim some laps during that time of the month. However, even if your period makes you feel more cautious about personal hygiene while swimming, there’s nothing to worry about. Pool water contains halogen such as chlorine or bromine which kills bacteria and reduces the risk of infection – there’s no greater risk of getting sick while swimming on your period than on any other day. This is also true if you are swimming outdoors such as in an ocean or a lake. Remember that the vaginal canal is a muscle, rather than an open cavity, so it does not stay open for water to come in during swimming. This is also why your tampon or period cup will stay in place while you are swimming.
Another hygiene concern is leaks – some of us might feel worried by the prospect of leaving a bloody trail behind them in the water! Fortunately, this is pretty unlikely. But if you do experience a leak, the menstrual blood will be quickly dissolved in the water when you swim. Unless you have an STI, there is nothing dirty or unhygienic about your menstrual fluid – it’s a normal part of life!
Does period blood attract sharks?
Another concern that some people may have is that swimming in the sea on their period may somehow alert nearby sharks and lead to attacks.
There are multiple misconceptions at play here. First of all, shark attacks are incredibly unusual – the average person has a greater chance of being hit by lightning than of being attacked by a shark. Secondly, sharks aren’t as good at detecting blood as we commonly believe; they won’t swim from miles away because of a whiff of blood in the water. And, thirdly, menstrual blood isn’t the same as blood coming from your veins or an open wound. It’s actually a combination of discharge, cervical mucus, endometrial particles, and a fairly small proportion of actual blood.
Overall, there’s no evidence for a greater likelihood of sharks attacking people who are menstruating.