Swimsuit season has officially arrived! If your summer is anything like mine, you will be in the water a lot this summer. And, more than once you may find the fun in the water is planned on a day when you are menstruating.
When it comes to swimming or even just being in a swimsuit during your period, many girls and women worry. We worry about so many different things, including:
– What swimsuit should I wear so I don’t feel so awkward?
– What if I have a wardrobe malfunction and people see my tampon string?
– Where is the closest bathroom and how can I escape there without being noticed?
– Who do I really want to share this part of my life with?
If you are a tween or a teen this is especially challenging. Everyone has expectations of what you should be doing. People know you love the water, but you may not want everyone to know when you are on your period (much less what feminine hygiene products you use or what products you are not comfy even trying).
It is amazing that even though half the world’s population menstruates for part of their lives, many girls and women don’t really know what is or isn’t a myth. For example:
– Myth #1: You should avoid swimming during your period (or at least skip water activities if your flow is heavy).
– Myth #2: Everyone will know I am on my period if I _______ (fill in the blank with your personal worries)
– Myth #3: I have to wear a tampon if I want to swim (or lay out in my bathing suit).
The reality is quite different! Consider these facts:
– Fact #1: You should swim whenever you want – whether or not you are menstruating.
– Fact #2: The only people who will know you are menstruating are the people you choose to tell. There is nothing wrong with sharing, but there is also no reason you need to share with anyone you would rather not know this information!
– Fact #3: You have many menstrual options while in your swimsuit. If you are flowing heavily and will be in and out of the water then your best options are internal feminine hygiene products (tampons – organic or traditional OR cups – disposable or reusable). If you will just be laying out – whether your flow is heavy or moderate– you could always wear a pad (or a liner if it was light) in your swimsuit with shorts over it. If you definitely will be getting wet, you should not wear a pad (or a liner). Some girls opt to go with nothing (no pad, liner, tampon or cup) when their flow is very light or just spotting (if you are not totally confident you can always keep a towel (or a tank or a cover up you love) poolside so you can wrap it around you once you get out of the water.)
If you have only ever used pads, don’t wait till the day before the big pool party, beach vacation, or lake outing to learn more about your internal options for feminine hygiene. Learn more now so you will Be Prepared whenever that day comes.
One great way to get prepared is by reading our recent post on knowing when you or your daughter may be ready to take this big step. We also suggest you familiarize yourself with the risks and symptoms of TSS before using tampons.)
Remember this: there is no reason to miss out on water fun because you are on your period. It is important to learn how to handle menstruation in a variety of situations so that you can live life fully on any and every day of your menstrual cycle. And, if you decide your period is heavy enough you have to wear something but you are not ready for an internal product yet, then you should feel good about showing up in an outfit that you would never get wet. You can have fun on land while wearing a pad (or liner). Whatever you decide, there are lots of other girls around you who are experiencing the exact same thing.
Co-written by Be Prepared Period & You ARE Loved.
Learn how to have a Better Period!
Check out our Info on Periods & Puberty page for more helpful information OR stop by our new PeriodTalk forum to get answers to the questions you’ve been wondering about.