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Swimming and periods

(20 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 07-Jan-13 00:15:04

If your dd does swimming at school, what happens if she's not swimming due to periods? Dd is v worried about this, she is in year 7 and has just started. She would be too shy to tell the teacher herself so do I write a note/send an email/ask the form tutor or what?

fidelma Mon 07-Jan-13 00:36:07

Yes send a note saying can she be excused. They are used to it. (swimming staff)

3nationsfamily Mon 07-Jan-13 11:02:25

Or get used to it and use a tampon! My daughter (11) is a competitive swimmer and trains 17 hours a week every week, I can just imagine her coaches face if she said sorry I can't swim for one week every month!!!!

Dancergirl Mon 07-Jan-13 11:20:29

I've suggested the idea of tampons to her but she's really, really not keen. It's a personal choice. She does do a lot of ballet though and is worried about pads showing under her leotard so she might change her mind.

Elibean Mon 07-Jan-13 11:20:44

I would imagine there is a difference between a competitive swimmer, and the expectations put on them, and ordinary school swimming lessons smile

I know I wasn't ready to tackle tampons at the age of 11 - I would definitely send a note if my dd was shy and had just started periods.

Elibean Mon 07-Jan-13 11:21:44


How about getting her to try on a pad under her leotard and see if it shows or not? Might help...

piggywigwig Mon 07-Jan-13 13:51:41

I can't disagree with anything Elibean has said.

If she's only recently started her periods, then unless her lifestyle and the demands of her hobbies/extracurricular activities make it an absolutely unavoidable necessity, then it may be a little too soon for her to consider tampons. It's a huge leap for some girls to start having to periods as it is, let alone facing the thought of sticking a tampon up "there" wink

My eldest trained for a competitive sport at the same age, for around the same number of hours per week as 3nationsfamily mentions. Her sport involves very short, skimpy attire - it makes you feel very self-conscious when you have a period, especially when wearing light colours. I could only get her to use a tampon on two occasions and only at the age of 15: she was competing from 8.30am through to 11pm in national finals. She still won't use them now. We also wouldn't let her use bog-standard tampons: we only let her use non-bleached/chlorine-free versions from Natracare, which are kinder to the skin and less of a health worry. DD2 is still far too worried about Toxic Shock Syndrome to use them...but that's another story

Send her in with a note for won't be the only one wink She may choose to have a go with tampons, either when she's ready, or sick of watching the other girls getting to swim. On the other hand, she may be like some of us (ahem!) who used to use the old period excuse to get out of swimming, even though we used tampons wink grin

Madmog Mon 07-Jan-13 14:33:00

I'd send a note in. My daughter finds the thought of using tampons horrendous so I'm not pushing it. Obviously depends on everyone's lifestyle what suits, but missing swimming occasionally won't hurt. My daughter doesn't do swimming, but if someone can't take part in PE/games they take on the role of a team builder/advisor so aren't totally left out of the lesson. Hopefully may be something your daughter's school do, which we would good. At my daughter's primary school non swimmers took a book with them.

Dominodonkey Mon 07-Jan-13 23:48:42

I am not sure what schools do about this but I think it's rather silly. Unless there is a specific medical reason I don't see why tampons should be such an issue. In most cases it is the mother who is anxious and makes the child anxious. I had my first period on holiday and there was no way I was going to miss out on swimming so learnt to use tampons in 5 minutes.

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 23:57:16

I confess I was very firm that DD1 was going to get the hang of tampons and that was that.

She is a fish and not easily embarrassed so she didn't take much persuasion.

I fear DD2 will be a whole lot more nervous about the whole thing.

Dancergirl Tue 08-Jan-13 00:00:58

That's good for you domino but it's down to personal choice isn't it? Some girls and women don't want to use tampons and that's their choice. I don't imagine in 2013 there are many mothers who don't want their daughters using tampons.

Dominodonkey Tue 08-Jan-13 00:04:56


Really? The way some people talk about them on mumsnet you would think their daughters were being expected to shove a nuclear bomb up their fanjo.

Igloo100 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:51:57

Its personal choice, I encouraged DD to try them and she quickly got the hang. She was a competitive swimmer so keen to use them just found them tricky at first. She used them on her 2nd period. I understand most aren't so keen and find it a big thing..
I do find it silly though when mums make such a big deal of it that the daughters get nervous. I do think it is a bit ridiculous that a year on or so they are still missing swimming for it.

Elibean Tue 08-Jan-13 15:01:02

I do think its personal choice: ridiculing girls for being anxious - or even NOT being anxious, but just not liking tampons - would be as daft as ridiculing those who want to use them straight away.

The point is, milestones and changes can cause anxiety - some may not feel fine shoving a tampon in, and need time. Others need time to overcome worries about speaking in public, getting on stage, heights, spiders, etc etc etc.

I would respect my dd's feelings either way. Tampons and jump in the pool, no tampons and miss swimming.

Personally, I've had times in my life when I've felt great using tampons, and others when I've found them very uncomfortable. Nothing to do with anxiety. As a teen, my periods were often very light, and tampons hurt.

dippywhentired Tue 08-Jan-13 15:09:00

Domino - I was desperate to use tampons as a teen, but found it totally impossible to insert, despite numerous occasions shut in the bathroom with a mirror! I still remember the swimming teacher's comment of 'haven't you girls heard of internal protection?', I felt like a freak and was mortified. So, it isn't always a case of just not trying hard enough. It wasn't until I'd lost my virginity that I could finally use them.

losingtrust Wed 09-Jan-13 10:24:50

Agreed my mom back in the early 80s tried to get me to use tampons as soon as I started but I could not get the hange of them until I was about 17. Very old. Most schools will be used to these. Even the girls I know who used tampons used their period as an excuse to the point that one lesson we were all called in to a meeting on the basis that all of us were saying we were having a period every week and this was biologically impossible!

SpringSunshine Wed 09-Jan-13 14:56:45

Well I have been in situations where tampons did not provide sufficient protection when swimming.
That would be even more embarrasing for a young dd so as far as mine is concerned it will be compeltely up to her if she swims or not with or without a tampon!

marriedinwhite Sat 12-Jan-13 18:58:01

I'm perfectly happy for my dd to use tampons and have bought every brand on the market for her to try. But she hasn't got on with them and I'm certainly not making a fuss about it - she will do what she wants when the time is right. She started her periods at 10.5 and is now 14.5 btw. Swimming isn't compulsory at her school so it isn't an isssue but if it was compulsory and I didn't know the routine I would telephone the school and speak to her tutor and find out what the usual practice was.

toffeelolly Sat 12-Jan-13 19:57:47

i would not be happy for my dd to use tampon's at 11 year's . just my own personal choice!

Madmog Mon 14-Jan-13 10:18:19

My daughter knows I've used tampons for years and wouldn't swap, but she's adamant she doesn't want to use them. I think it comes down to personal choice and lifestyle in the end and for me it's no big deal what others do/don't use.

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