Can Girls Swim On Their Period?

✔ Research-backed

You may ask, can girls swim on their period? She may wish to go for a swim when on vacation or if she is a competitive swimmer, she may also be required to keep up with training sessions. Following simple measures will enable girls to continue swimming while they’re on periods without any hassles. So, to help you guide your daughter, we present you with a list of measures to take while swimming during periods. Read on.

In This Article

Can A Girl Swim On Her Period?

Yes! Your daughter can swim during her menstrual cycle. In fact, her periods shouldn’t stop her from doing anything. Whether your growing girl wants to join gym or swimming classes, she should be able to enjoy these activities even during her periods (1).

Can Girls Swim On Their Period-Tips

Whether your daughter wants to take a dip in swimming pool or a lake, here are some important things she can do, to enjoy swimming during her period:

1. Wear a tampon

  • After getting into the swimming pool, the menstrual flow biologically reduces. However, using feminine hygiene products such as a tampon prevents the water from becoming unhygienic for others.
  • It is quite safe for your teen girl to wear a tampon before getting into the swimming pool.
  • Tampons absorb the menstrual fluid so that it does not mix with the water in the swimming pool, and the much-needed hygiene while swimming is maintained.
  • However, your daughter should be aware of the right way of inserting the tampon. If required, you can help her practice it for a few times.
  • It is important to tuck the string of the tampon into the lining of the swimming suit so that it is not visible. For example, Susie Johnson, a single mother of five, including three girls, shares how a rogue tampon string can cause blood to leak through your legs. She says, “I can tell you from personal experience that I have been at practice and noticed a rogue tampon string hanging out of my suit. I have had blood running down my legs while standing on the pool deck. Yes, it was embarrassing. But I’m not the only person it’s ever happened to. This kind of stuff happens every once in a while at swim practice and everyone survives (i).”

protip_icon Experts say
Ellen Rome, MD, Head of Adolescent Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Children’s says, “Tampons can be used from the first period on, or they may never be used (3).”

2. Wearing menstrual cups

One can wear the cups for almost ten hours consistently

Image: Shutterstock

  • Though tampons are quite comfortable to wear for your teen, she can also use the menstrual cups.
  • Your daughter can insert the cup into the vagina so that it stays still at its base and collects the menstrual blood.
  • One can wear the cups for almost ten hours consistently. The absorbing capacities of such cups are so high that the menstrual flow never mixes with the water in the swimming pool.

3. Carrying extra supplies

  • If your teen wears a tampon while she is swimming, she must follow certain precautionary measures throughout the day.
  • Ask your daughter to carry extra tampons in her bags, when she goes out for vacations or holidays.
  • After she gets out of the pool, your daughter can change and wear a disposable sanitary pad or a panty liner.
  • If your teen wears a tampon on a heavy day, she must try changing it every three to four hours.

protip_icon Quick tip
Ensure you drink enough water when swimming during periods. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels may cause dehydration. Also, being in a pool can trick your brain into thinking that you are hydrated as you will be surrounded by water (1).

4. Ignore myths

Ignore myths, can girls swim on their period

Image: Shutterstock

  • Ancient civilizations believed that swimming during menstrual days was rather unhealthy.
  • But there is no such science behind the logic. So your daughter can freely swim in a lake or pool, during her period days.

5. Wear shorts while using a tampon

  • If your daughter feels a bit hesitant with the tampon string showing, she can opt to wear shorts to feel comfortable.
  • You can make your girl wear Men’s style shorts, which look great with the bikini tops, and make her look stylish

6. Wearing dark-colored swim suits

  • Even though a girl is wearing a tampon or menstrual cup, menstrual blood does not leak through the bikini bottom. But just as an added precaution, it is advisable for her to wear dark-colored swimwear so that the leakage is barely visible.
  • Your teen girl can choose dark blue or dark purple, and enjoy a fun day of swimming with her friends.
  • Your girl should prefer to choose a swimsuit that has a thick bikini lining so that tampon string is not visible to bare eyes.

7. Protection from cramping and bloating

Take medicines under doctor’s supervision

Image: IStock

  • Some girls suffer from intense menstrual cramps during their periods.
  • Medical practitioners suggest that when your daughter experiences a menstrual cramp, restrict her from eating fried, unhealthy, and salty foods.
  • When your teen experiences severe pain after a swimming session, she can take some pain relief medicines under doctor’s supervision to get relief from the uncomfortable symptoms.
protip_icon Did you know?
Swimming can help relieve period cramps. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and improve your well-being (1).

A Word Of Caution

  • Restrict your daughter from wearing a pantyliner or a sanitary pad during swimming. The pad can easily get soggy and wet. In such circumstances, it can no longer absorb the menstrual flow. So, when your teen enters the pool while wearing the sanitary pads, it may smell bad, and she would feel uncomfortable.

    Don't wear a sanitary pad during swimming

    Image: Shutterstock

  • Your teen should always carry a spare long skirt or wrap that she can easily wear on her swimsuit. In the case of the menstrual stain, she can quickly cover up the embarrassing mark.
  • When the menstrual flow leaks and causes spotting in the swimsuit, your teen should never panic and make a scene. Instead, she could ask one of her friends to help and can even borrow a towel.
  • Never restrict your teen from swimming during her period, as the water can help her feel better.
  • During the menstrual cycle, make your teen wear dark-colored shorts instead of the stylish bikinis. Your teen should never wear a sanitary pad in the water, but can wear a pad, after taking a shower and changing the wet clothes.
  • The visibility of the tampon lining makes your teen girl feel embarrassed in public places. Hence, she should prefer wearing shorts or swimming trunks and try hiding the bump within it.
  • If your daughter feels uncomfortable swimming during the period, never force her to get into the water. Excessive stress can hamper female health and wellness and increase abdominal pain.

    Never force her to get into the water

    Image: Shutterstock

  • If your daughter attends her swimming lessons and starts leaking suddenly, she should try making some excuses like “I am not feeling well”. She should calmly go to the toilet and wear the tampon or menstrual cup and resume her classes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Could I get an infection from swimming on my period?

It is unlikely that you contract a vaginal infection from swimming during periods. However, chlorinated water might irritate the vagina or lower its pH, raising the risk of yeast or fungal infection (2).

2. How do female Olympic swimmers manage their periods?

Since pads can easily get soaked with water in a swimming pool. Olympic swimmers use menstrual cups and tampons during their periods for menstrual flow management.

3. Are there any alternative options to traditional menstrual products for swimming?

Some alternative options to traditional menstrual products for swimming include leak-proof swimwear, a sea sponge, or a menstrual disc. Before swimming while on your period, consult your gynecologist as a precautionary measure.

The restrictions and myths surrounding periods or menstruations are plenty. But that should not stop your girl from enjoying the sports they love. So if you are still wondering, can girls swim during their periods? Fret not! They can safely enjoy swimming during their periods as long as they take the necessary precautions. Following appropriate menstrual hygiene protocol is of utmost importance.

Ensure that they stay prepared and calm in case of an emergency. As parents, you should provide menstrual health education to your daughter, tell her about the dos and don’ts of periods, and provide her with some menstrual discomfort management tips so she can engage in her favorite activities without any hindrance.

Infographic: Busting The Myths Regarding Swimming During Periods

Many girls and women cancel or postpone swimming while on periods thinking that it may lead to infections, painful cramps, or leakage in the water. However, most of these beliefs are just misconceptions with no scientific evidence. Our infographic busts some of these myths to help you enjoy swimming during periods without undue worries.

facts about swimming during periods (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Females may swim during their period after taking proper precautions.
  • Swimming and being in the water could help girls feel better while on their period.
  • To prevent leakage into the water, tampons or menstrual cups must be used.
  • After swimming, swimsuits and tampons must be changed immediately to prevent bacterial growth and infection from the wetness.
Can Girls Swim On Their Period_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


Swim without any worry, even when on your periods after watching this video containg help tips and tricks for those days.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Swimming and Your Period: Gross or Go For It?
    https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/womens-health/2016/june/swimming-and-your-period-5-myths-debunked
  2. What Is Vulvovaginitis?
    https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/v/vulvovaginitis
  3. How To Teach Your Teen To Use A Tampon
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-teach-your-kid-to-use-a-tampon/
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Dr. Surabhi Sangwai

Dr. Surabhi SangwaiMBBS, DCH, IBCLC

Dr.Surabhi Sangwai is a pediatrician and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC, USA) based in Nagpur, India. She is an authorized lactation counselor on the panel of BPNI and a member of several prestigious organizations like IAP, HMBAI, ILCA, BPNI Maharashtra, and ALPI. She has experience of more than seven years in handling key responsibilities at specialty clinics like...read full bio