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Swimming & periods

27 replies

Hotdoggy · 30/07/2018 10:24

Hi, looking for some advice on what to do, as dd started her first period yesterday (age 11). She's in the local swim squad. Is there anything you can recommend she use and still be able to swim? I did think of tampons, but it just doesn't feel right to let her use them at her age. Any advice welcome.

OP posts:
IncyWincyMouseRat · 30/07/2018 10:29

It’s her body and her choice what sort of sanitary protection she uses, surely it’s not a case of ‘letting’ her do anything. At 11 it’s possible that her periods might be quite irregular for a little while so it might not impact her swimming too much at this stage.

Help her to research all the different types of sanitary protection: free bleeding, disposable pads, cloth pads, period pants, menstrual cups, soft cups, tampons, sponges... there might even be more! And let her make the decision that suits her body without judgement or trying to steer her in any one direction.

Cliveybaby · 30/07/2018 10:37

tampons or cup.
What's wrong with tampons?
Think I used a sanitary towel once (started at 13) and hated the gross "wet nappy" feeling, so then always used tampons.
To be fair though, I hadn't heard of menstrual cups, or I might have used those.

Panda368 · 30/07/2018 10:41

Used to club swim too as a kid. Mum helped me get the hang of tampons quite early on though I remember struggling with them for a long time.

Best thing to recommend is the tiny light flow tampons with some KY jelly on them for 'heavy days' to avoid embarrassment but on lighter days I wouldn't use anything as was still generally more comfortable in pads at about 12/13. Practice getting them in and out at home first and see how she feels with them. I found I never leaked in the pool, something to do with the water pressure helping to keep it all in I think so if she has a fairly light flow she may be fine to go without for a while.

Hotdoggy · 30/07/2018 15:39

Ive read about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) which could effect younger girls/women if using tampons. It can be fatal, so a risk I'd rather avoid for her, especially as she is very young and has only just begun to have periods.

I was never a swimmer, so am not aware of what swimmers do when they are having a period. This is the sole reason for my post, just to find out if there's something out there I'm not aware of that can be used and to gather tips/advice on how to manage this with her.

Only one reply from a swimmer so far, advising there is a mini tampon out there that can be used when swimming is useful, but I'm concerned about TSS.

My post is not about taking away the decision making with dd over what products to use.

Im asking for practical advice on swimming and periods, so please don't reply to this post if you don't have this advice. My post is not about choices of sanitary ware and exploration of them with dd.
Many thanks

OP posts:
Cliveybaby · 30/07/2018 15:47

I always swam with just tampons, would have bled in the pool with nothing!
TSS is incredibly rare, and if I remember correctly, caused by leaving tampons in for very long times (eg. days rather than the 3/4 hours recommended), so I wouldn't focus on that.

Alibaba87 · 30/07/2018 15:53

You can get period prof swimwear, pretty pricey though. I guess if she swims that regularly it’d be worth it.

buckingfrolicks · 30/07/2018 15:55

Moon cup. No TSS risks. Cheap.

Alibaba87 · 30/07/2018 15:59

You can still get TSS from moon cup unfortunately.

tacobellislife · 30/07/2018 16:08

Ali No you can't get tss from a mooncup. My DD is only 8 but when she starts I'll encourage her to go with a mooncup. It's safe, comfier than tampons, (omg the dry tug of a tampon 😫) better for the environment and toilet pipes and no risk.

Jinglebells99 · 30/07/2018 16:15

There was a thread yesterday about this issue. You could do a search? Someone mentioned period swimwear, but it seems to be out of stock in smaller sizes in uk. The alternatives really are tampons, but lots of young girls struggle initially with these. Or pills to delay periods, for a holiday, norethisterone. But really the only sanitary protection you can swim with is tampons :/

Narya · 30/07/2018 16:15

Yes you can get TSS from a menstrual cup if you don't clean it properly. It's a bacterial infection.

Alibaba87 · 30/07/2018 16:18 And totally agree with comfiness and environmental positives. I use one not all the time but try to mix and match.

Panda368 · 30/07/2018 16:43

I’d suggest just get using the super light flow tampons as they are way easier to get in when you’re young and remind her to take it out when she next goes to the loo after swimming. That way it’s never going to be in for long enough for TSS to be much of a risk. Pop the tampon in when going to the loo before you get in the pool it’s the most simple way I think and she can do pads during the day etc or whatever she prefers. You never get that dry tampon removal feel after swimming I promise you 😂

NerrSnerr · 30/07/2018 16:46

I always used tampons as a teenager when swimming. TSS is rare and the risk can be reduced by proper use (not keeping in for too long, using the right tampon for flow etc)

welshweasel · 30/07/2018 16:49

Tampons are the only sensible option. Tampax pearl are pretty easy to get to grips with. I never used pads as I played loads of sport and swam a lot and found them uncomfortable.

LockedOutOfMN · 30/07/2018 16:55

I was a swimmer and would go without as, like a pp said, the water pressure stops blood from flowing out when you're in the pool. I wore sanitary towels for the first couple of days of the period then panty liners for the last one or two.

PickwickThePlockingDodo · 30/07/2018 16:59

They have size 6 here(girls 12-14) , but maybe a bit big for your dd?
They do period proof knickers in kids sizes, maybe she could wear a pair under her swimsuit?

Passthecake30 · 30/07/2018 16:59

These popped up on my fb thread yesterday, what about wearing the bikini knickers under a costume?

Swimming & periods
Namelesswonder · 30/07/2018 17:07

Toxic Shock Syndrome caused by tampon use is incredibly rare - shouldn’t be a concern. The fact is she is having periods and when swimming tampons are the easiest thing to use.

NerrSnerr · 30/07/2018 17:09

I personally wouldn't go without. If I didn't wear a tampon the blood would drip down my legs when I got out or it would pool on the side of the pool if I was sitting.

Hogtini · 30/07/2018 17:11

Lilets do a tampon for teens. I would let her try these. I always hated pads and wish I'd found tampons sooner. TSS is very rare and as long ad you're using them properly the risk is minimal. Plus she could just use them for swimming then pads any other time? I think a Mooncup would be too much for her 1st period (I'm in my late 20s and struggled with it!), let her find what suits her best and what is practical for when she's back in school etc.

Hotdoggy · 30/07/2018 17:44

Thank you so much all, for the helpful replies. I feel more reassured now regarding TSS and tampons.

On the practical side it does seem simpler to pop a mini version of the tampon in just before swimming and then remove straight away after, therefore reducing the chances of TSS.

I had no idea of period swimwear, thanks for the link, will follow that one up.

I'll gather all the info together and dd and I will have a chat on what she wants to do, as she was quite upset at the thought of not being able to swim for a week due to her period and I did not know what to do (not being a swimmer). Thank you all once again.

OP posts:
Karen333 · 18/10/2018 00:06

Hi, just wondering what you did about this as it was a few months ago. My DD is a swimmer and I have gone through the options, she hates the thought of a tampon but to me that’s what she needs to use if she wants to carry on swimming,


Notcontent · 18/10/2018 20:08

My dd is a swimmer and we have had lots of chats about using mini tampons when the time comes. I don’t think there is any other solution. Someone mentioned period swimwear but that’s not really a solution if you are a serious swimmer...

QueenofLouisiana · 20/10/2018 07:50

For those thinking about using the special swimwear, bare in mind that using the bikini bottoms under a swimsuit won’t work in competition. If they wear a skin, nothing else will fit! If they wear a normal suit they may be DQed for wearing 2 suits.

Probably not something most people would need to think about, but important if you have a competitive swimmer and had thought this may work for her.

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