Yes, of course your period starts the exact moment you start your holiday. Bad timing, but no reason to spend the entire holiday in your hotel room or hostel as you can definitely swim when you’re on your period – or enjoy the beach in any other way. Here’s what to do.
1 Insert a tampon/sponge tampon/menstrual cup
Most convenient to swim with are (sponge) tampons or menstrual cups. New to tampons or menstrual cups? Practise inserting a few times in the months before going to the beach/pool. A sanitary towel usually isn’t such a good idea; it soaks up loads of water and the adhesive strip won’t stay sticky for long.
2 Change immediately after swimming
Tampons absorb fluid; apart from blood, they also soak up the water you’re swimming in. After taking a dip, change your tampon for a fresh one. If you insert a sponge tampon (without a string) deep enough, changing is not necessary. The same goes for a menstrual cup. Although you don’t have to empty your menstrual cup directly after swimming, there’s a small chance that moving around in the water will disturb the vacuum created by the cup, which could cause leaking. Check afterwards to be sure.
3 Try special swimwear
If you don’t like to insert a menstrual product and you don’t have a heavy flow, you can try period swimwear. Most period underwear brands also have special swimwear, for light-moderate incontinence and light-moderate period days. Check the brand’s website for the do’s and don’ts before you hit the beach.
In need for some shopping inspiration? Check the Modibodi collection for example. This brand offers a wide range of bikinis (tops and bottoms) and bathing suits in all colours and sizes. There’s even a special collection for teens. Clik on the images below or check the collection here.
4 Take back up supplies
Right on top of your holiday packing list: extra tampons and/or sanitary towels. Especially when visiting a country where they don’t sell your preferred brand. Don’t forget to check where the nearest toilets (with sinks!) are. Last but not least: seen a nice new (period) bikini? Perfect, because of course you need extra swimwear if there’s any chance of getting your period at all. Just in case. Like a precautionary measure. Actually, it’d be irresponsible not to buy them (ahem). Shop ‘til you drop!
5 Relax and enjoy
And just jump in the water. While exercising, your body creates endorphins which make you feel better: time to get in the pool and do some laps. Menstrual blood is basically sterile, so even if you would leak a bit, it doesn’t make things unhygienic.
Two more things you absolutely should NOT worry about: no, the entire pool won’t turn red if you leak a drop of blood and no, swimming in sea on your period doesn’t automatically make you shark bait. No worries, enjoy your holiday!
Period! is an independent, online magazine about all aspects of menstruation. Period! is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you’re suffering from medical complaints, always visit your doctor or GP. Editorial articles can contain affiliate links. Sponsored collaborations can be found in the category Spotlight. Do you have any questions? Check our Contact page.