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Don’t you just hate it when you’ve planned a dive trip and all of a sudden you get your period? While it can be inconvenient and a nuisance, having your menstruation should not stop you from going scuba diving and having fun!
So to answer your question:
Can you scuba dive on your period?
Yes, you most certainly can!
There are many concerns about scuba diving and menstruation. So in this post, let’s dive deeper into this topic that affects most women divers.
Allow me to debunk some myths and give you some tips and advice when it comes to scuba diving while you’re on your menses.
- How to scuba dive on your period?
- Can you scuba dive with a menstrual pad?
- Do I have to wear feminine products while diving?
- Can scuba diving stop my period?
- Will diving on my period make my cramps worse?
- Will I attract sharks if I dive on my period?
- What problems can you encounter while diving on their period and how to deal with them
- When should I avoid diving while on my period?
How to scuba dive on your period?
Women who scuba dive while they are in their monthly cycle are able to do so by wearing tampons, menstrual cups, or period discs. These feminine products are inserted in the vagina to either absorb or collect blood. They are very discreet and comfortable to wear which makes them great period products to wear while scuba diving.
Tampons are a popular option for divers because they are small and easy to insert. Usually, tampons come with an applicator for easy insertion. Depending on your flow, you can wear a tampon for four to eight hours. This means you do not have to worry about leaks or having to change your tampon after your dive.
However, if you are in the middle of nowhere with no access to a bathroom, changing tampons may be an issue. Not only will you need to bring extra tampons, but you’ll also have to figure out where and how to change them and dispose of them.
Tampons may also carry the risk of vaginal irritation and Toxic Shock Syndrome, which is something you do not want to have to deal with if you are in the middle of the ocean.
Use menstrual cups or reusable period discs
Another easy way to deal with your period while diving is to wear a menstrual cup or reusable menstrual discs. These are 100% medical-grade silicone feminine products you wear inside your vagina to collect period blood.
One of the biggest benefits of wearing menstrual cups or period discs while diving is that they can safely stay in your body for 12 hours. This means you can spend the whole day scuba diving without having to worry about emptying it.
Period cups and discs are also reusable so you don’t have to worry about carrying an extra menstrual cup with you. You can simply remove the cup from your vagina, empty the blood into the toilet, wash your cup in the sink, then reinsert it.
For divers who are eco-conscious and want to say no to single-use plastic, menstrual cups are also the preferred choice as they generate less waste compared to tampons.
I’ve been using a menstrual cup for 4 years now and highly recommend making this zero waste swap. And I haven’t bought any sanitary napkins or tampons since.
Use Period Swimwear
For women who are not comfortable with tampons, menstrual cups, or basically inserting anything in their vagina, period-friendly swimwear is another option for you.
Period swimwear looks like regular swimwear but it has a built-in lining to help absorb or trap blood. These swimsuits have absorbable layers so your period blood does not leak through while you are diving.
Because these swimsuits have special features to help menstruating women, they may come out to be more expensive than your regular bikini.
To learn more about eco-friendly menstrual products, check out my post on how you can have zero waste periods.
Can you scuba dive with a menstrual pad?
Diving with a menstrual pad is not recommended. While it is designed to absorb period blood, it will also absorb the water around you. Wearing a sanitary pad is useless in the water. You might even feel like you are wearing a diaper by the end of your dive.
Do I have to wear feminine products while diving?
It is optional to wear feminine products when scuba diving on your period. Many menstruating women go scuba diving without wearing period protection.
Remember that while menstruating, you will only lose between 4 to 12 teaspoons of blood. If you are in the water for an hour or so, not much blood will leave your body. Any blood that does leak will easily be diluted in the water.
If you are worried about leaking once you are on the surface, you can quickly change out of your suit and wear your feminine products if needed.
On my lighter days, like day 4 or 5 of my period, I’ve tried skipping the menstrual products. I wore black bikini bottom so that in case I get a stain, it won’t be so obvious.
Can scuba diving stop my period?
No, your period does not stop simply because you are in the water. The lining of your uterus will continue to shed regardless if you are in the water or not.
When you are scuba diving while on your period, water pressure and buoyancy create an upward force that prevents the blood from flowing out. It hasn’t stopped your period but rather it slows it down.
Once you’re out of the water, gravity and your movement can cause period blood to come out. This is why wearing tampons or menstrual cups are recommended to avoid leaks as you exit the water.
Will diving on my period make my cramps worse?
Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea may be one of the reasons why you wouldn’t want to go scuba diving. After all, nobody wants to dive while their lower abdomen is throbbing in pain.
If you’re experiencing some mild cramping and still want to dive, doing some physical activities might ease your period pain and not make it worse. During aerobic activities like scuba diving, your body releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers.
And we all know how happy we feel after diving! In no time, you might not even notice your cramps.
If you always have severe cramps please consult with your doctor for any underlying medical issues.
Will I attract sharks if I dive on my period?
One of the biggest concerns that women have when it comes to diving on their period is the possibility of a shark attack. Well, ladies, you can enter the ocean with ease knowing that there is zero evidence to suggest that sharks are more drawn to women who are menstruating.
While sharks can smell your period blood or any human blood for that matter, they won’t start chomping on you because of it. They prefer tastier fish that’s a staple in their diet.
Sharks do not like snacking on humans, even if you might smell kinda fishy down there.
In addition, the amount of menstrual blood that you could leak into the ocean is so minuscule that sharks couldn’t care less.
What problems can you encounter while diving on their period and how to deal with them
It is not unusual for you to not feel your very best mentally, physically, and emotionally while on your period. Your menstrual symptoms can affect the way you dive. This is normal and naturally, your body’s reaction will be different.
So while you’re confident to get in the water already, and no longer afraid of sharks coming after you while on your period, it’s important to manage some expectations.
Here are some problems you might encounter and ways on how you can cope if you are scuba diving during your menstruation.
Nobody is ever in their best mood when they are on their periods. You can be irritable and moody. You might be feeling antisocial which doesn’t bode well if you are in a dive boat or diving with a group.
Just be self-aware and try not to snap at anyone that goes your way. Surround yourself with people who can understand what you are going through and don’t be ashamed to admit if your period is affecting your mood.
It does happen.
It’s very common for women to get headaches, cramps, backaches while on their period. This might prevent you from doing the dives in the first place. If you are prone to these, make sure to bring your pain medicine with you.
You might also feel more tired and lethargic when you are on your period. You might even notice going through your air more quickly than usual due to the physical exertion. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re moving a bit slower and struggling to get things done at your usual pace.
Don’t feel bad if your wetsuit feels a bit tighter or you need to add weights when scuba diving during your period. It’s very common for women to feel a bit bloated or to gain some period weight. This may mess up your buoyancy so just take it in stride.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself hungry all the time. Some people eat more during their period and diving does burn a lot of calories.
Don’t feel guilty for having an extra serving of lunch or dinner after your dives. Take a snack with you and munch on them during surface intervals.
The physical exertion of scuba diving combined with the hormonal fluctuations in your body can result in dehydration.
Make sure you’re always drinking a lot of water. Not only does it keep your body cool but it also helps reduce headaches, cramps, and bloating associated with menstruation.
Don’t forget to take your refillable water bottles with you to keep hydrated all day long.
When should I avoid diving while on my period?
Whether or not you should dive while on your period is a decision that can only be assessed by you. Some women are able to function 100%, while others are left completely immobilized because of their menstrual symptoms. You know your body more than anyone else, so at the end of the day, it will be your call.
If you are feeling unwell and could be a danger to yourself or others, it is always better to err on the side of caution and go diving another day.
Should you do decide to scuba dive while on your period, and you suddenly feel discomfort or pain, always remember that you can abort the dive.
Be gentle with your body and be kind to yourself. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help or to cancel dives if you have to.
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Have you gone scuba diving while on your period? What issues do you have when it comes to scuba diving and menstruations? Leave a comment below!
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