Swimming and periods - the two may seem like enemies, but they can absolutely exist in harmony together! With summer fast approaching, we’ve created a complete guide to all your leak-proof, swim-safe period care options.
Yes! Menstrual cups or discs are our number one recommendation for leak-proof protection while swimming. Because they create a seal within the vagina, they keep your flow fully contained (when worn correctly) and are undetectable from the outside - meaning there’s no risk of strings poking out of your bikini. The 8 hour wear time means you can spend a whole day at the pool or beach without worrying about awkward public bathroom changes. If you have a heavy flow, opt for a higher capacity menstrual cup so you can get closer to your full 8 hours of wear.
As menstrual cups don’t absorb your flow like tampons or menstrual sponges, they won’t absorb water as you swim. Hooray to no soggy tampons or unsightly strings!
Yes - tampons are a good disposable option for swimming on your period as they are worn inside the body. Keep in mind that tampons do come with a cotton string which hangs outside the body, so they may not be the best option with those ultra-skimpy swimmers! It’s best to change your tampon regularly when swimming, as they can tend to absorb water as well as your menstrual blood, which can put them at full capacity quicker than when you’re on dry land.
Absolutely! If soggy tampons strings are not your thing but you prefer disposable period products, try a menstrual sponge like the Beppy Sponge instead. Beppy Sponges come in two varieties (pre-lubricated Wet or non-lubricated Classic Dry) and are worn inside the body below your cervix to absorb your flow, similar to a tampon. They’re great to wear during sports, while swimming and can even be worn during sex. Although they don’t have a string, Beppy Sponges are easy to remove and come individually wrapped for convenience.
Disposable and reusable pads are a big no-no if you’re planning a dip in the water. Because they are worn outside the body to absorb your flow, swimming with a pad in your swimsuit will lead to major leaks and leave you with a heavy, waterlogged pad. Not ideal! Choose a period product that is worn internally instead, like a menstrual cup, menstrual disc, tampon or menstrual sponge.
Even though period underwear has leak-proof fabric, it won’t keep you protected from period leaks while swimming and are not suitable to wear in the water. Like pads, because period underwear is worn on the outside of your body, it will soak up water while swimming and lead to some seriously messy overflow! It’s best to keep your period underwear for dry land-based adventures only.
It is believed that the pressure created by water outside the body can slow down your menstrual flow, and some people find that their period stops completely while in water. You can test it out at home in the bath if you’re curious! But for leak-proof protection, it’s always best to wear a menstrual cup, tampon or sponge. While period leaks at the beach won’t attract sharks (that’s a myth), it can be messy when you exit the water. And leaks or free bleeding at public pools are best avoided altogether for hygiene reasons.