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Swimming on your period

Can you go swimming on your period?

swimming on period

Okay so you have swim class or a pool party coming up and you’re going to get your period during that time – Eeek!

But don’t worry! The good news is you don’t have to miss class or that awesome pool party because yes, you can totally go swimming on your period!

I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about swimming on your period.

Tips on Swimming On Your Period
You can’t wear a pad

Pads absorb liquids and that includes the pool water. Even if you wear an ultra-thin pad and wear shorts to cover it, a pad in the water will poof up and won’t absorb your period.

Tampax Radiant Tampons with leakguard braid

You can swim on your period when you wear a tampon

Tampons are worn inside your body to absorb your period before it leaves your body.

When you change your tampon, you may find that your tampon is a little wet at the bottom closer to the string. This is because a tiny bit of pool water enters your vagina when you go swimming. That’s completely normal and your tampon just absorbs it.

Related Articles:
How to insert a tampon: An easy to follow & illustrated guide
How to find your vaginal opening


You can swim on your period when you wear a menstrual cup

Menstrual cups are a great option and many athletes actually choose to wear them for their comfort and reliability. There’s no age limit on who can wear them and they can be worn for up to 12 hours of leak-proof protection. Menstrual cups are reusable soft silicone cups that like tampons are worn inside the vagina however, instead of absorbing your period, it works by collecting your period in the cup.

Menstrual cups stay in place by forming a vacuum seal with the soft edges of the cup by pressing against your vaginal walls. You won’t be able to feel a menstrual cup when it’s inside you.

One of the best and easiest to use menstrual cups is the award winning DivaCup.

Another option is the Instead SoftCup. It’s a little different from the silicone cups and are worn higher up in your vagina right below your cervix.

You don’t have to swim on your period. You can sit out and it’s okay.

Periods are complicated. For whatever reason if on the day of your period, you just don’t feel like swimming – just tell your friends or your coach that you can’t swim that day. They will understand – TRUST me on this one.

Wearing a tampon or menstrual cup is a personal choice. If you don’t want to do that then that’s completely fine.

If you could not figure out how to wear a tampon or menstrual cup in time for your pool party or swim practice – that is completely fine too.

You may feel unwell during your period. Sometimes your cramps may be too much for you to go swimming and that is completely okay.

It is not a big deal to sit out. Just tell your coach in private or send a message to your friends. It may seem embarrassing but as you get older, you will realize that it is really not a big deal.

Do you go swimming on your period? Share your answers with us in the comments section below :)!

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[catlist name=tampons numberposts=3]

About Dedy Wong

Dedy is the founder of The Period Blog and creator of The Little Red Kit. Her period is around 30 days long and likes to use pads and tampons -although she has tried just about everything including menstrual cups and period subscription boxes!


  1. I am 14 and I can’t figure out how to put a tampon in, when I try it really hurts. I get so nervous and scared. Please help me.

  2. Do you have anything on breasts?

  3. I’m 11 and my older sister had her first period around the age of 12, my half birthday just passed and I want to be super prepared because my best friend had her first period recently at a pool party, HELP!!! Also, I can’t insert tampon without very bad pain.😭😭😭plz help because I’m not sure what to do!?!

  4. I’m 11 and my older sister had her first period around the age of 12, my half birthday just passed and I want to be super prepared because my best friend had her first period recently at a pool party, HELP!!!

    • don’t be scared,it will take time. My first period i tried putting one in and it hurt really bad. after a couple tries it will go in smooth.just take some time

  5. thank you for including that bit about maybe not figuring out the tampon in time. it’s embarrassing but I’m 23 and only just now figuring out tampons, mostly because the shame I felt for not getting them when I was 11 was just too much that I never wanted to try again. I’m glad maybe younger girls will see this and not have to live with 10+ years of unnecessary shame

  6. I’ve tried about 3 times to put a tampon in… But i can’t. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nervous or if it’s because I am inserting wrong. I go along a lot a different guidelines to insert one.. But it won’t work. I don’t feel comfortable having my mom show me.. But I am desperate because I have a swimming trip in a few days and I just started my period. Please help. Email me at yellowhoney2242@gmail.com please. I really need advice and help. I AM DESPERATE!!

    • I know Im late but, I am 16 and my mom had to show me how to use a tampon because it just super confusing. If you have to ever ask your mom something then its ok. You will need to ask your mom alot of things and I have alot! Its normal si dint be scared.

  7. I can’t insert anything (I can’t even get full exams without writhing in pain – I might need surgery eventually to correct this issue ) and I have a polar plunge on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. I raised money and have to go in the creek for at least 5 minutes. If I just jumped in, splashed around for a bit, would I be safe? I just started spotting, so hopefully it’s a false alarm (don’t get periods monthly either).

    • If you are just spotting and need to go swimming you should be ok. Generally when the flow is light and you are in the water the blood won’t come out. You will have to get wet right away and run to a bathroom right after. A dark towel around your waist during the transition should help.

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