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Dear Dish-It: Swimming With My Period

Mar 18, 2012

Dear Dish-It,

I am going swimming with my friend and a girl four years younger than me, and i am due to be on my period. I really want to go swimming and have fun but how do I cover up the fact that I am on my period?

Little-miss-monthly

Dear LMM,

Great question! It’s something a lot of girls wonder about, especially when they’re just starting to get their periods regularly.

First off, it’s a big myth that girls can’t go into the water when they have their periods. There's no actual reason, physical or otherwise, that menstruation bars you from the water. Female lifeguards, aquatic biologists, Olympic swimmers and divers all venture into the water during their period. You can, too.

For some women, their period actually stops when they go in the water – not completely, but no blood comes gushing out. But if you still want to take some extra steps to make sure your swim date goes smoothly, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Choose a good location. You might be uneasy going into a pool during your period. Although the fear is that you'll somehow leak or show, you can choose a larger body of water, like a lake or ocean where it's much less likely anything would be noticed.
  2. Use a tampon. You can swim (and do nearly every everyday activity) while wearing a tampon. However, never use for more than 8 hours, as this increases the chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Remember to use a less absorbent tampon if you are less experienced.
  3. Try a menstrual cup. This feminine hygiene product may be unfamiliar to many women, but is an option many prefer. It HOLDS the flow rather than absorbing it, so that you can be as active as you like. Be sure to ask your mom or doctor before you try this one out.
  4. Just wade. Wear a nice pair of shorts or a pair of skorts and simply wade in as much as you can. You can still be around your friends and you don't need to make any detailed explanations - just say that you think the water's too cold or that you're not feeling up to swimming that day.
  5. Just Say: "I don't want to swim right now because I'm on my period." If everyone present is female, they'll probably understand. If you're in mixed company, the boys will probably be too embarrassed to give you a hard time about it.

If you've got a burning question, need some love advice or find yourself thinking about things like sex, depression, self-esteem, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, bullying or peer pressure, don't hesitate to Dish-It here. Send your questions to deardish@kidzworld.com. And if you hang out in the chat rooms with other Kidzworld members who know you by your username, just send in your secret question using a different nickname if you want to stay anonymous – we promise that no one will ever know it's you. Remember: Dish-It gets a load of letters every day so it may take a while to reply to yours. Keep checking back for her reply, or watch for answered Dish-It questions that are similar to your own.

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EndlessDream
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rainbowpoptart
Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
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