Everything you Need to Know about Diving on your Period
You’ve planned that big scuba vacation and have been looking forward to it for months. The flights are booked, the hotel is paid for, and the liveaboard has been arranged. There’s just one problem. You realize that you’re going to have your period. Is it disaster? Or, can you scuba dive while on your period? Keep on reading to find out all the details you need to know about diving on your period.
Guest post by former dive instructor Jackie Bolen, details below.
Shark Attacks and Menstruation
Some people worry that they’ll be more prone to a shark attack if they go in the water during their period. However, it’s not really something to worry about. You should actually be paying more attention to preventing a sunburn, or dehydration while on a dive trip!
Shark attacks are extremely rare in general. On divers? They’re almost non-existent, unless you’re purposely trying to provoke them. Stats show that there are only around 5 attacks per year on divers worldwide.
How much do you know about sharks? Find out here to taking this quiz.
Another thing to keep in mind is that menstrual flow is actually quite slow, and happens over the course of a few days. The amount of blood you might lose during a 45 minute dive is such a small amount that it’s nothing to worry about.
That’s assuming you have no form of period protection. Almost everybody uses a tampon or menstrual cup while swimming on their period.
Let’s talk about some of the best options for period protection.
Option #1: Tampons
Most people use tampons when swimming or diving on their period. They work well and are a decent choice.
However, there are a few disadvantages to them including the waste they create, risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, exposure to toxic chemicals, and how expensive they are (check out these sustainable life hacks for women that will save you money).
There is a better option (keep on reading!)
Option #2: Reusable Menstrual Cups
Have you ever heard of the Diva Cup? It’s the most popular menstrual cup in the world. There are lots of other brands to choose from including the Lunette Cup, Moon Cup, Lena Cup, Super Jennie, etc.
If you want to scuba dive on your period, menstrual cups make a better choice than tampons for a number of reasons:
- No waste. If you’re on a boat with a toilet that flushes into the ocean, it can be difficult to deal with something like a used tampon. With a menstrual cup, you just dump out the contents and then reinsert it.
- Higher capacity. Jumbo tampons hold around 10 ml, while the average menstrual cup holds 30 ml. Where this can really make a big difference for you is when you’re on a small boat with no toilet. You can empty your cup before getting on the boat, and then be good to go for at least a few hours.
- No strings hanging out. Have you ever felt paranoid that your tampon string was hanging out of your bathing suit? I have! Menstrual cups remain completely inside of you.
The key to menstrual cups is to find the one that works for you. There are so many different sizes, designs and brands. You can take this menstrual cup quiz to help narrow down your choices.
Option #3: Period Swimsuits
The final option is a leak proof swimsuit. They are designed to keep the water out, but menstrual fluid in. Some of them just have a barrier, while others have an absorbent layer.
Most people don’t use these as their sole source of protection during their period, except when they have a very light flow or are spotting.
The best thing to use a swimsuit like this for is backup to a tampon or menstrual cup. If you’re on that long boat ride with no toilet, a leak proof swimsuit can make the difference between period disaster, or not.
The best of the options is probably Modibodi. They’re an Australian company that makes some excellent period panties and period swimwear. Shipping is free with a minimum order to many countries around the world, and the design of the swimsuits is quite nice. Nobody would suspect that you’re actually wearing a period swimsuit! You can find out more details about Modidobi here.
Jackie Bolen out for diving
Diving on your Period: Have your Say!
What’s your #1 tip for diving on your period? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.
About the Author
Jackie Bolen is a former PADI instructor who has dove in all sorts of amazing places around Asia, with Sipadan, the Similans, and Jeju Island being her favourites. She is currently living in Vancouver, Canada and planning her next vacation. You can find her on Pinterest.
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