4 Products To Help You Swim On Your Period

Getting your period is sucky enough as it is. I mean I’m all up for this female empowerment, period power shizzle, but honestly it’s an absolute pain in the backside, right? If we had a choice, would we really choose to bleed out of our vaginas every month? I think not. But what’s even more of a hassle is when we get our period at a time when we’re going to be swimming.

Going for a swim on your period is by no means impossible. Heck, being on your period doesn’t stop you from doing anything. But it does require a bit more care and consideration around the whole logistics of not bleeding in the pool and basically trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.

The good news is that these days we have choices. We no longer need to sit on the side of the pool, feeling sad because we’re missing out on all the fun. You can swim on your period and here are 4 period products that will help you do just that.

1. Tampons

Tampons are the obvious answer when it comes to swimming on your period. They’re discreet, absorbent, and once you’ve had a bit of practice, they’re easy to use too.

When you’re a teenage girl however, the very thought of inserting something into your intimate bits, is likely to scare the absolute bejesus out of you. There’s the worry that it will hurt, that you might not do it right, or worst of all that it might get stuck up there.

First of all, don’t worry. Yes, it might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but it shouldn’t hurt and if it does then stop, take a deep breath and try again. And please don’t worry about it getting stuck, it won’t. It can’t. That’s why it has the string attached to it. It’s kind of like its emergency safety cord if you like, one tug and the tampon is coming out.

But I get it, tampons aren’t for everyone. And thankfully, if tampons aren’t your thing, there are other choices you can make if you want to swim on your period.

2. Reusable Pads

Like reusable pads for instance.

Now listen, in an ideal world you probably want to pick a period product that is worn internally if you want to go for a swim on your period. Water and pads don’t exactly go well together. They’re absorbent sure, but they haven’t got a whole swimming pool’s worth of absorbency. Whereas something that is worn internally, only concerns itself with soaking up your period blood.

If you’re not comfortable wearing tampons or any other product that is worn internally, you’ll be pleased to know there are certain pads you can wear when swimming that won’t triple in size the second you hit the water. Standard disposable pads are no good for you, so instead look out for reusable pads. This type of pad is made from material like bamboo, cotton and hemp. They are classified as reusable because you can take them out, wash and dry them, then reuse again and again. Way better for the environment and way cheaper for you. But how effective are they at preventing leaks when you’re swimming?

Let’s just say, I wouldn’t wear them on my heaviest days. They’re good, but they’re not that good. My best advice is that if you do choose to wear reusable sanitary pads when swimming, remember to check and change them regularly, only wear them on your light flow days, and wear a more covered up bikini bottom or swimsuit, like boy short style, so that the pad is less noticeable and fits more securely.

3. Menstrual Cups

Like tampons, menstrual cups are worn inside the body. If you still can’t get your head around that, then skip this bit for now and read the next paragraph, but remember to save it to come back to when you feel more ready.

Menstrual cups are a relatively new product in the period world. They are made from flexible medical-grade silicone, rubber, latex, or elastomer, which means they fit to your body comfortably and with ease. It does take a bit of practice to get the hang of inserting them and likewise removing them can be a bit tricky at first. I know a lot of women who panicked the first time they tried to remove their cup and couldn’t get it out – I’m told the secret is breaking the seal.

The cup collects your blood and can be worn for between 6-12 hours depending on your flow. You then remove the cup, empty the blood and give it a good clean before reinserting. The benefits of using a menstrual cup is that it basically acts as a seal; while you are wearing it there is no chance of any blood leaving your body. So, you can see how beneficial that can be if you want to swim on your period.

You can’t see a menstrual cup when you’re wearing it, which means you could be wearing the itsiest bitsiest bikini and no one would be any the wiser that you were on your period. And what’s even better is that an average menstrual cup lasts for about 10 years – just think of the money you would save on period products!

4. Period Swimwear

Period swimwear has revolutionised how we experience our periods. If teen me could have had the chance to use these products back in the 90s she would have been a happy girl let me tell you. I mean just imagine, being able to wear a swimsuit that looks like any other swimsuit, but also has the capability to absorb your period blood both in and out of the water. You can swim as normal, you don’t feel all bulked up with pads, or have to worry about a tampon string poking out. That my friends is period swimwear.

There are a couple of different brands that make period swimwear; WUKA and Cheeky Pants to name a couple, but from personal experience I have to recommend Modibodi. Both me and my daughter have used their swimwear and we’ve got nothing but positive words to say about it. The fit of the swimsuit that I have is stretchy and comfortable, and yet it looks super stylish too. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I would choose to wear it even if I wasn’t on my period. The gusset is made from a layer of water-resistant material which keeps the water out and your period blood in. This leakproof technology is literally a lifesaver on days you want to go for a swim on your period. It just makes life so much easier.

The only thing I will say is that like the reusable pads, this is more of a lighter day option. That being said, you could team it up with a tampon on your heavier days, to feel more confident of no leaks. What I love about period swimwear though, is the freedom it gives my daughter. At 12 years old, she has only very recently started her period, and she has told me she doesn’t want to use tampons. Period swimwear has meant that she can still swim on her period, rather than teen me who had to sit on the side of the pool on holiday knowing full well that everyone around her knew the reason why.

If you’re planning an all dayer at the beach, then I’d perhaps have a backup, or make sure you change out of your swimsuit when you go to lunch etc, so that you’re not sat around in it all day. If nothing else, for hygiene reasons. But seriously, period swimwear is the one. Try it, it’ll change your life.

What If I Don’t Wear Anything?

This isn’t as ludicrous as it sounds. You see, the water pressure from the pool works in such a way that it can temporarily stop your flow. And this is kind of why period swimwear and reusable pads work so well, because whilst you’re in the water there’s very little blood they actually need to absorb. Which begs the question, why do you even need to wear anything?

Well, there’s the getting in and out of the pool for starters. Plus, if you cough, sneeze, laugh, or jump around in the pool, the pressure will change, and a small amount of blood may come out. Which of course if you’re not wearing anything will mean it has only got one place to go. The pool. Now, this isn’t the end of the world, after all swimming pools are massive and your small amount of blood will very quickly be diluted. Plus, swimming pool water contains chlorine so hygienically it’s not that big an issue either. But if anyone was swimming or stood close to you at the time, or heavens forbid someone was underwater near you at the precise moment some blood came out, you’re going to feel pretty uncomfortable, right?

Whilst in theory you can swim on your period without needing to wear period products, I wouldn’t recommend it. Not when you’ve got so many alternative options.


Swimming on your period is no longer the problem it once was. And that’s such great news, because gentle cardio exercise like swimming has been proven to help alleviate period cramps and it of course improves our mood too. It’s up to you to try a few different methods out to determine which product suits you and your period best. Some work better for heavy flow days and some on lighter days. But either way, we have choices, and that is everything.