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How to Swim on Your Period Without a Tampon

Three Parts:

Swimming while on your period can help to ease cramps and provide a gentle and fun way to exercise. While most women use tampons to contain their menstrual flow while swimming, other women either dislike tampons or cannot use them. Fortunately, there are several options to try for women who would like to swim on their period without using a tampon.


Trying Other Hygiene Devices

  1. Try a reusable menstrual cup.Silicone or rubber menstrual cups are reusable, flexible, bell-shaped devices that collect your menstrual flow. The cup should not leak if inserted properly and is one of the best alternatives to a tampon if you want to go swimming. Insert the cup before swimming, and leave it in until you can change out of your swimsuit into your regular clothing and switch to another method of period protection.

    Menstrual Cup FAQs

    How do you remove the cup?Some women find menstrual cups difficult to insert and remove, but it gets easier with practice. Check out this helpful wikiHow page to learn the process of inserting and removing a reusable menstrual cup.

    How often do you need to empty the cup?Only once every 10 hours.

    How do you know which cup is right for you?Menstrual cups come in a variety of sizes, so you may have to experiment with several sizes before you find a cup that works for you. You can buy menstrual cups online or at a drug store.If you have fibroids or a dropped uterus, it can be hard to find a cup that fits you.

    How often do menstrual cups need to be replaced?Only once a year! So, in the long run, you’ll make less trips to the store and spend less money on menstrual hygiene products.
    Does the cup cause any kind of odor?Nope! It can actually help cause less odor during your period.

    What if you have an IUD?If you have an IUD, talk to your gynecologist before using a menstrual cup. Inserting a menstrual cup could potentially dislodge your IUD and you want to make sure you take proper precautions.

  2. Consider a disposable menstrual cup.While they can be expensive compared to tampons or reusable cups, disposable menstrual cups are flexible, easy to insert, and work well for protection while swimming. Just as you would with a reusable cup, insert the cup before swimming, and leave it in until you can change out of your swimsuit into your regular clothing and switch to another method of period protection.
    • Like reusable cups, disposable cups can be messy to insert and remove and require a learning curve to master placing them correctly in the vagina.
    • Check out this helpful wikiHow page to learn the process of inserting and removing a disposable menstrual cup.
  3. Consider a sea sponge.If you avoid tampons because you are concerned about the chemicals used in their production, a natural sea sponge might be a good solution for you. Sea sponge tampons are harvested from the ocean and contain no chemicals, and they are also reusable.

    Sea Sponge FAQs
    Are sea sponges safe to use?The USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) does not approve the use of sea sponges for menstrual purposes due their potential connection to toxic shock syndrome. You can read their findings and judge them for yourself, but use sponges at your own risk.
    How do sea sponges work?Tampons and sea sponges work the same way-- by absorbing your menstrual flow. The advantages of a sea sponge are that it is all-natural, very absorbent, and it conforms to the shape of your body.
    How do you insert a sponge?To use a sea sponge for menstrual protection, begin by washing it in a mild soap and rinsing well. Then, while it is still moist, squeeze out the excess water, and insert it in the vagina while squeezing it tightly between your fingers to compress its size.
    How often should you clean your sponge?Sponges should be cleaned before your first use, daily, and before storing.
    How do you clean a sponge?Soak your sponge for 5/10 minutes in a cup of warm water mixed with 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, 1  tsp (4.9 mL) of hydrogen peroxide, or 1 US tbsp (15 mL) of apple cider or white vinegar.
    Do you have to buy a special menstrual sea sponge?Yes, because sea sponges sold for arts and crafts or other purposes can be treated with chemicals.

Considering Off-Label Uses of Other Products

  1. Ask your doctor about a diaphragm.A diaphragm is a dome-shaped rubber cup placed high in the vagina. It is a birth control device, designed to block sperm from entering the cervix.
    It is not meant as a menstrual device.
    However, if you have a
    light flow
    you can use it while swimming as an alternative to a tampon.
    • A diaphragm can be left in the vagina for up to 24 hours. If you have sex, you must leave your diaphragm in for at least 6 hours following intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Diaphragms do not protect against STDs.
    • Diaphragms can increase the risk of urinary tract infections. You should not use a diaphragm if you have a latex allergy. Cramping or pelvic pain can result from the wrong sized diaphragm, so be sure to replace your diaphragm in the event of weight loss or gain of 10 pounds or more.
    • To wash your diaphragm, remove it and wash it with mild soap, then rinse and dry. Do not use products like baby powder or face powder, as these can damage the diaphragm.
    • Once again, using a diaphragm for regular menstrual protection is not recommended. If you're having a light flow and want an alternative to a tampon to swim, you can try inserting a diaphragm. You may want to test it out beforehand, however, to see how well it blocks blood flow. If you have sex after swimming, be sure to leave the diaphragm in place for six hours before removing it.
  2. Try a cervical cap.Much like a diaphragm, a cervical cap is primarily used as a contraceptive device. However, it does block menstrual flow so you can try using it when swimming if you want an alternative to your tampon.

    Cervical Cap FAQs
    How does a cervical cap work?A cervical cap is a silicon cup that is inserted in the vagina. Similar to a diaphragm, its purpose is to prevent pregnancy by blocking sperm from entering the cervix.
    Are cervical caps safe to use?Generally, yes. However, if you're allergic to latex or spermicide or have a history of toxic shock syndrome, you should probably not use the cervical cap. It might also be a bad idea to use a cervical cap if you have poor vaginal muscle control, any kind of infections like UTIs or STDs, and have any cuts or tears in your vaginal tissues.
    How do you insert a cervical cap?Check out this helpful wikiHow article for more details on correctly inserting a cervical cap.
    Can you use this every time you’re on your period?The cervical cap is not recommended for habitual use, but if you're towards the end of your period and you only intend to use it while swimming, it could be a good alternative to a tampon. Talk to your doctor before using your cervical cap during menstruation to see if it’s right for you.
    How do you clean and store a cervical cap?Wash it out with soap and warm water, and let it air dry. Don’t use any kind of powder on it, as this can lead to infections. Keep your cervical cap in a dry place, away from extreme cold or heat.
    Where can you get a cervical cap?Your doctor can figure out which size if right for you and give you a prescription for a cervical cap.

Changing Your Habits

  1. Refrain from full body swimming.If you're unable to find a tampon alternative that works for you, you can find a way to get involved in water activities without fully submerging.
    • Sunbathing, wading, relaxing under a beach umbrella, and letting your feet hang in the water
      are all good options, and you can wear a menstrual pad while you do these things.
    • Remember that menstruation is a completely normal part of your life, and while it can be embarrassing to tell your friends you are on your period and don't want to swim, you should feel confident that your friends will understand.
    • If you're uncomfortable telling them that you're on your period, you can simply tell them that you
      aren't feeling well or don't feel like swimming.
  2. Wear waterproof underwear.Waterproof underwear can be a safe, comfortable alternative to your period when swimming or doing other activities.
    • Waterproof underwear looks much like regular underwear or bikini bottoms but has a hidden, leak-proof lining that helps absorb menstrual blood.
    • If you plan on swimming in waterproof underwear, know that
      they will not absorb a heavy or moderate flow.
      They will only work towards the end of your cycle or on months when you're having a light flow.
  3. Wait until your flow lightens.As it can be difficult to find tampon alternatives that are effective and easy to conceal under a bathing suit; if you have a heavy period you may have to simply wait until your flow lightens to swim.
    • Hormonal birth control pills, when used correctly, can result in a lighter period.
      Hormonal IUDs may also result in less bleeding during your menstrual cycle. If you're an avid swimmer and dislike tampons, you could look into these options to shorten your cycle overall.
    • You might also consider Seasonale or other birth control pills that result in less frequent periods. Seasonale is designed so that you take "active" hormonal pills every day for three months before taking a week of "inactive" placebo pills, which activates your period. Although some women have light, breakthrough bleeding during their active pills, this method can help you predict when you will have your period so you can plan your swimming times around it.
    • Try establishing a vigorous exercise routine. Regular, rigorous physical activities of any kind can reduce the length of your period and make it lighter. If you're an avid swimmer, you may find your cycle changes during warmer months when you swim frequently. However, if your period becomes abnormally light or stops altogether talk to your doctor to rule out underlying medical concerns or pregnancy.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    My blood isn't coming out but it's there when I wipe, is it safe to go swimming?
    Top Answerer
    If it's only showing up on your paper, then your flow is most likely light. Go ahead!
  • Question
    What if you have to go swimming when you're on your period but don't wear tampons?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's okay to swim without a tampon because the water pressure helps keep the blood from leaking out. Just be prepared to change really fast after you get out of the water so it won't have a chance to leak once the water pressure is removed.
  • Question
    My period is late and I'm supposed to swim in school, will I be okay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You'll probably be fine, the water pressure usually prevents much bleeding, but if you're worried, wear a tampon, or wear a panty liner in your bathing suit with shorts over top.
  • Question
    Is the last day of a period heavy or light?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's usually light.
  • Question
    I haven't gotten my period yet and I'm freaking out about it. I'm on a competing swim team and we swim 4-6 times a week. My mom uses tampons so I think she wants me to also, but the idea of wearing it inside me seems a little scary. What should I do?
    Elly Olejniczak
    Community Answer
    Once you start your period, just talk to your mom about it. My mom showed my how to insert one. It is scary at first but you will get used to it quickly. You don't even notice it after a while.
  • Question
    I am on my last day of my period but I don't see any blood. Does that mean it ended and I can go swimming?
    Elly Olejniczak
    Community Answer
    Wait another day or two, because your body can surprise you.
  • Question
    Could I swim with a pad?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Unfortunately, the pad would cease to be absorbent after a few minutes in the water, as it will soak up pool water.
  • Question
    What if I am at swimming camp and afraid to tell my male coach that I'm on my period? What would happen if I wore a double swimsuit/underwear and a panty liner?
    Elly Olejniczak
    Community Answer
    Never wear a panty liner in water, it doesn't end well. I'm sure that your male coach would completely understand and would help you. He would not be coaching young girls if he could not be comfortable helping/talking about periods. He has almost certainly dealt with this before.
  • Question
    I'm a swimmer, can I wear an ultra thin pad if I'm not allowed to wear a tampon?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, the pad will absorb the water in the pool and will be completely useless, and/or it will come off. Pads of any kind are not designed to be used in water.
  • Question
    My family is all swimming and I don't want to wear a tampon. How do I swim? My period is always light.
    Amber splashpaws
    Community Answer
    Try using the other methods in this wikiHow, such as the ones to prevent a pregnancy (diaphragm, cervical cap). They work the same way tampons do. However, if you're certain your period is extremely light, the water pressure should prevent much bleeding.
Ask a Question
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  • If you are hesitant to use a tampon because you don't know how to insert it, be sure to check out this helpful wikiHow page to learn how.
  • If you are unable to use tampons because you are a virgin and your hymen is too tight to insert it, you will be unable to use other methods that require inserting a device.
  • If you are an avid swimmer and this is a frequent problem, consider changing to contraception to cause menses to stop or become very light (especially Mirena IUD or continuous OCP).


  • Remember, being in water does not stop your period. The pressure may make the flow lighter for some women, but swimming will not cause your period to stop. If you choose to swim without any protection at all, be aware that your flow is likely to start up again as soon as you leave the water.
  • Do not use a disposable or cloth pad in water. The water will saturate the pad, preventing it from catching your flow.
  • Talk to your gynecologist before using a cervical cap or a diaphragm while menstruating to make sure it is safe for you.

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Date: 06.12.2018, 09:48 / Views: 53373