No question should ever be too embarrassing to ask - as a holistic health practitioner specialising in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, I do get asked all sorts! Most recently, I was asked what we recommended women use in terms of sanitary items for swimming - as one can’t wear a sanitary pad in the pool! But the real question is, should we be swimming during our period?
Over the years, tampons have sold the idea of freedom and flexibility for the modern women, and made it easier to do all the things you can do normally on your period. But is this actually best for our bodies?
The truth is that we need to take extra special care of ourselves in the lead up to and during our period. At this time our body is working hard to clear out the lining of the uterus that it was hoping would be a nice nest for an embryo. Our immune system is particularly challenged at this time; that’s why we feel extra tired, achy and more cold than usual - so it's common sense to take extra care and rest more. That’s not to say don’t do anything - moderate exercise is good - especially just before your period and can help reduce cramping.
Swimming, however, introduces cold into the body. Our cervix is more open than usual during our period and even if you are swimming in a heated pool, cold can get into the uterus and may cause fertility and low thyroid issues. The cold contracts tissues and blood which causes more cramping, more clots, more PMS and more stagnation. So it’s very wise to stay as warm as possible!
The body works best at around 37 degrees Celsius, so we need to keep ourselves warm, especially our feet and our bellies and eat warming nourishing foods especially in winter. The green strip in the Drion pads contains negative ions and its infrared energy is slightly warming and can help to counter the cold. In Chinese Medicine the meridians that reach your reproductive organs begin in the feet, so recommend wearing slippers and socks and avoiding contact with cold surfaces.
If you do decide to go swimming on your period, you would need to use a tampon or a menstrual cup. Make sure you dress warmly after the swim ensuring you are not in wet togs for longer than needed, and that you switch back to a chemical free, natural pad, such as Drion, after your swim.
For more information on Drion Pads and for other commonly asked questions, see our FAQ page.
If you have any questions about swimming or not during your period please email me (Belinda) at email@example.com