Let's get straight to the point and answer the question: Yes, you can swim on your period whether you're a 4o-year-old or 11-year-old. Swimming, period or no period, should not stop your teen from abstaining from the activities they love to do. As long as they've got period protection they feel comfortable in, your teen can pretty much do anything—from taking swimming lessons to cannonballing into the pool to lounging on the beach.
Many young menstruators get worried about swimming on their period because they fear they'll leave a trail of menstrual blood in the water, or that their tampon string will be dangling out of their swimsuit, or that there will be a period stain on their bikini bottoms. Whatever the concern is, they're not alone!
Let's dive into this age-old question of whether or not you can swim on your period, and how exactly to go about doing it.
Can they really swim on their period?
Of course they can! Thanks to the invention of period products such as tampons, menstrual cups, and period swimwear, teens can do just about anything they want in the water. With the right period protection, they don't have to worry about leaking while they're in or out of the water.
If your teen is experiencing period cramps, swimming can actually ease their menstrual cramps since any form of exercise will help their body release feel-good endorphins.
Another piece of good news? When your teen goes in the pool or the ocean, the water pressure can temporarily stop their flow. However, if they're laughing, sneezing, or moving around a lot (which they most likely will!), the pressure will drop and period blood will leak out, so they should still wear something to absorb their menstrual flow.
What period products work well in the water?
There are a couple options for teens who want to swim while they're on their menstrual cycle. It's all based on their personal preference, so they may want to test out a few products to see what makes them feel good and what makes them feel uncomfortable.
Tampons are one of the most popular options for teens who want to swim on their period. It's discreet, soaks up menstrual blood, and can be worn for four to eight hours. We recommend starting with a fresh tampon before diving in, so your teen doesn't have to change their tampon so soon after they get in the water.
Menstrual cups are also a discreet option for collecting period blood while swimming. While these can be more difficult to insert, they allow your teen to swim even longer for 8 to 12 hours. Again, we recommend emptying the menstrual cup before getting in the water.
If your teen is not comfortable inserting a tampon or menstrual cup into their vagina for whatever reason—perhaps it's their first period or they just don't like the idea—then period swimwear is the way to go. Period swimwear looks and feels just like regular swimwear, but it's made with a leakproof lining in the bottoms that can absorb menstrual blood while ensuring it doesn't leak in the water. It's the perfect beginner period product for teens who want to swim without tampons. Interested? Check out the Kt by Knix Period Swim line made just for teens!
What if they leak in the water anyway?
If your teen has the right period protection and they're changing it regularly, it's very unlikely that leaks will occur. However, if by some chance a leak does happen while they're swimming, it's nothing to worry about! Whether they're in a pool, lake, or ocean, a tiny amount of blood will quickly dilute in the water so no one will ever see it. Heck, your teen might not even notice it either—so they can continue swimming like it's no big deal. For peace of mind, they may want to pack an extra tampon in their bag or locker room just in case.
If staining their swimsuit is a top concern, your teen can always opt for darker colored swimsuit to prevent blood stains from being noticeable. Kt has a variety of period swimwear in dark colors, including one-pieces and individual bikini bottoms, that most young girls and menstruating teens are raving about!
But is it hygienic to swim while bleeding?
Of course it's hygienic! It's not very likely that your teen will get a vaginal infection from swimming, especially if they're swimming in a chlorinated pool that will protect them against diseases from bodily fluids, such as menstrual blood, sweat, and urine. However, it is important that they change their tampon or menstrual cup right after swimming. And it's equally important to not sit too long in their wet period swimwear to avoid any skin irritation.
Curious to learn more about swimming on periods?
Check out our blog post on how your teen can swim freely and confidently on their period. Whether they just joined a swim team or want to attend their best friend's pool party, every menstruating teen deserves to splash around without any worries or anxieties.