Swimming (or not) on your Period



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“I’m starting at a new school, and each week we go swimming. Tomorrow (my first day) we have to go, I have my period and don’t want anyone to know, what do I do?!”

– Abby

Kelsey: Easiest way to get around it is to use a tampon, but if you’re not comfortable using one yet just fake an asthma attack/ “roll your ankle” on the way to class… I was never a fan of PE at school, I tried every trick in the book haha

Belinda: Defs tampon, change right before you go swimming and when you get out. But would depend on if you’re comfortable using them?

Sophia: Cardboard applicators (tampax) are the way to go, I was bad at putting tampons in without them until like last year.
It doesn’t come with instructions so open the packaging so you have the cardboard thing. It comes kind of in two bits which can be extended/unextended. Put it in extended. Best way (particularly for nobody to know) is knees apart on the toilet seat, but if it’s still a bit uncomfortable try squatting. While it’s in, push the two pieces together (Don’t let go of the applicator!). This will push the tampon further in and open up the cardboard applicator. Pull the applicator out. If there’s a sanitary box, throw it in there, otherwise wrap it in toilet paper and put it in a rubbish bin. It’s small enough that you can hide it in the palm of your hand so if there are other people in the bathroom they won’t notice it. Wiggle your hips a bit to make sure it’s comfortable. If it is, excellent! If not, you can either brave it out (ugh) (although this is totally what I did) or use your finger/the empty applicator to jiggle it around.
If you’re swimming with tampons they’re generally p easy to take out after 1 hour of swimming.

Natasha: Telling a teacher and saying you would rather it not be news and then just tell everyone you are feeling sick. Teachers are adults and aren’t going to freak out if you tell them you have your period. Even a male teacher– in fact, they’re more likely not going to ask questions.

Maddy: Tampons are excellent when you are comfortable with them but I found it took a while for me to completely trust them. There’s heaps of things you can do when starting out: lube, applicators, slim minis. But if you are not confident with them and don’t feel the need to swim just tell your teacher you have your period and don’t want to, they can’t make you wear a tampon. Again if you don’t want ANYONE to know just say you’ve got a cold or had an upset stomach earlier and don’t want to risk it (get a parent to write you a note if they’re cool with that?). Sometimes lying is ok. You don’t have to swim if you don’t want to.

Sophia: (Also: if you’re really into swimming it’s a cost-benefit analysis. Tampons were mad uncomfortable for me but I was a keen Underwater Hockey player so sometimes I’d just suck it up and sometimes I’d bail on practice – depends on your comfort, depends on how much you like swimming. Take care of your wants and needs first!)

Lauren: Also: Cups! Can be a little scary at first, and they have this weird image problem where people think they are the grossest thing around, but they are actually super convenient and cost-effective and hygienic and environmentally friendly and way less gross than you think. They’re the most convenient thing ever for swimming, because you don’t need to change them straight after you get out, like you would a tampon.

Caitlin: Just thought I’d share, had the same problem and pulled the old, forgot my togs trick or something equally bleak like that. On the day my friend wasn’t swimming either, so I asked why. She straight up just said “Got my period.”
For some reason that was huuggee for me. First time I realized I had nothing to hide, twas just life.
(I don’t really have any good advice or a point, just want you to know that it’s nothing to be ashamed of!) yay ▼

10 thoughts on “Swimming (or not) on your Period

  1. Yolo

    Hi
    I got my period today and have swimming with a male teacher. I’m not comfortable wearing tampons or menstrual cups and I’m in year 7. How do I tell my teacher as it will be awkward as he is a male.
    Many thanks

  2. Erica

    Hi I’m Erica and I’ve just started Year 7 (Sixth grade) and on Tuesday its very very likely I have a swimming lesson but my period has started today and I really do not want to use a tampon but I’m worried my teacher will force me to swim even if I bring in a parents note! Also, do tampons hurt and what age should you start using them?

    Thanks in advance

    Erica

    1. Maddy

      Hey Erica,
      If you have a note that says you can’t go swimming a teacher should respect that. Here’s the thing: you can’t go in the water with no ‘protection’ and there’s is absolutely no way the teacher can make you use a tampon so you are well within your rights to just not swim.

      Tampons do not hurt when used correctly. When you start using them it may seem an uncomfortable experience but when it is in you wont even realise it is there.

      There is no age that you should start using tampons. You can use them on your very first period or never if you like.

      Getting used to them can be a bit of a challenge, try the smallest size you can find (often called mini). Read the instruction pamphlet. Get a handheld mirror. Just spend as long as you need in the bathroom giving it a go.

      It wasn’t until two years after I started my period that I gave tampons a try and I was scared but now it is a breeze.

  3. Poppy moore

    i need help! i want to go swimming but only thing i have my period and ive read loads of articles but the thing is i don’t want to use tampons please reply A.S.A.P.

    1. Serena with her dev hat on

      Menstrual Cups!! They’re so glorious and so underrated. Have a Google around the read up more about them and find the right one for you. They can also be left in a lot longer and can be washed and reused.

  4. Lexus

    I just started my period, this morning. I want to go swimming but my mom said i cant and she wont let me use tampons. I have been up all night because my stomach hurts and I dont know why? Its not because of cramps i feel like vomiting. Ill be 13 on July 15 its June 29 and I dont know if i will be on my period on my birthday.Please help!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Lexus

    1. Maddy

      Sorry babe, until you can use tampons you won’t be able to go swimming on your period. Maybe have a talk to your mum as to why she doesn’t want you using tampons. Tampons are absolutely normal to use.

      As for the pains and wanting to vomit, that will happen too. Take some pain killers try not to think about it. If you are concerned go to the doctor. Maybe ask her/him about using tampons as well. There also may be a nurse at your school you can talk to, or a teacher you feel comfortable with? I mean, find someone who has been through it and you feel ok talking to and ask them, they definitely remember what it’s like.

      Hopefully your period will stop before your birthday as they usually only last less than a week. Since it’s your first it may be irregular. Please don’t worry too much. It happens to all women and it takes a bit of time to get used to. I remember feeling like this would be something that would worry me forever but it’s really not.

    2. Belinda

      Hi Lexus!

      It’s totally normal to be a bit ill and feel funny when you’re on your period, especially if it’s your first one! If you have cramps, you can use a hot water bottle or a wheat bag to ease the pain. I’ve had some friends insist that eating a banana is a great cure!

      As for the nausea, it’s worth having a talk to your Mum and telling her that you’re not feeling great. Often you can get medicines from the pharmacy that are specifically for when you’ve got your period. So maybe you two could go together and have a chat to the pharmacist about what would be best for you. If you’re really sick then it’s probably best to visit the doctor.

      If you want to go swimming then you’ll need to use a tampon, did your Mum say why she didn’t want you using them? Don’t worry too much about your birthday, your period should be gone by then. And even if it’s not, it’s totally manageable and will probably be very light. As Maddy said, if your Mum is being a little difficult then it’s best to find someone else who you can talk to or who can help out. Tampons are very normal, as are periods.

    3. Natalie

      I just got my period today and my birthdays tomorrow
      I’m going swimming for my birthday and I hate using tampons I just can’t use them
      If you really want to go swimming and arent aloud to use tampons I suggest not to wear a pad in the water but have a towel handy when you get out of the water.
      Your period stops while in the water temporarily but once you get out you might have a trickle of blood on your leg
      Hope this helps❤️

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