For all those who don’t swim or are first timers, they wonder if they should learn swimming during their periods or should they get into the pool at all while on the period. To answer the question quite simply, YES, you absolutely can go swimming during your menstrual cycle. Don’t worry—you won’t be surrounded by a puddle of blood in the water or get a dangerous infection!
When you go for swimming during your period you will find that we don’t seem to bleed while in the water. It’s not because our period bleeding stops in water it’s because we are already in water which creates a counter pressure due to which the menstrual flow is gridlocked (holds at one spot) and does not enter the water. Now suppose you are floating or swimming, the gravitational force is not felt in water as a result of which there is no menstrual flow coming out of the body and gets collected in the uterus till you stay in water.
What about infection? It is the most common myth. Note the following points:
The pool is usually kept highly disinfected. Hence, any microbes surviving in such environment are unlikely except a few spores and a few parasites.
By natural design itself, the vagina and the cervix both act as individual barriers against establishment of infection by several physical and chemical means (as others mentioned, pH being one of them) and hence, the environment is actually hostile for any infections.
The flow is always outward and when the flow is not happening, the cervical opening is usually closed and plugged by mucus which itself is another barrier.
Most female genital infections are possible only through direct introduction in the insides of the genitalia with associated trauma and hence, the common association with sexual activity.
Hence, finally, the chances of getting a genital infection while swimming in a community pool with or without active menstruation is highly unlikely.
The most comfortable way to swim with your period is to wear a tampon before you enter the pool. If you don’t like tampons, consider using a menstrual cup. Tampons collect the menstrual fluid before it leaves your body. Same goes with a menstrual cup. So you can choose from:
Tampon. Tampons come in a wide variety of sizes and it is important to choose the appropriate size for your period. Base the tampon size off your blood flow; heavy bleeding requires heavy absorbency, while light bleeding only requires light absorbency. Using a light absorbency tampon on a day of heavy bleeding could result in leakage, which could be an embarrassing problem whether in the pool or on dry land. Since the tampon string will likely become saturated with pool water, change your tampon after swimming.
Menstrual cap.Typically made of rubber or silicone, these small cups are also inserted into the vagina during your period. Rather than absorbing blood like a tampon, the cup simply catches the blood. Depending on your blood flow, menstrual cups can typically be worn for 6 to 12 hours before needing to be emptied, although more frequent emptying can prevent overflow.
Swimming during periods may help ease the shooting pain, menstrual cramps and exhaustion that women experience during their monthly periods. Regular swimming even regularizes the irregular period flow and cycles. Anyway ff the pain is strong, consider taking a analgesic pill, it will help you to forget about your period and enjoy swimming like always.
If you still decide to skip your class during period, we remind you that you have a right to come with another group during the semester once instead of your missed class.