Exclusive: What You Need To Know About Diving And Periods
This topic is sometimes perceived as taboo and not discussed in public. Time to break the barriers and discuss the uncomfortable. It is a topic that affects many scuba divers around the world. So let’s get into it…
Now, ladies, we know this is a biggy! Diving into the unknown with your period can be nerve-racking. Not to mention it can be embarrassing to ask about. Do not fear, we are here to put some of your questions and myths to rest.
Can I even dive while I have my period?
In short, yes! There aren’t many reasons that should stop you from scuba diving while on your period. Like any sport, there are ways to work around it and make it manageable.
One of the only reasons you wouldn’t dive while menstruating is if YOU choose not too. Sometimes cramps and bloating can make it too uncomfortable to get in and dive. But that is a personal choice. Any other issues that arise from having your period have a solution when it comes to diving.
Will I attract sharks?
Good question! This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to periods and diving. But unfortunately not (for those who would love to see more sharks while diving). When on your period you don’t actually lose that much blood. The amount of blood loss is very little, only 6-8 teaspoons across the entire period. It is not enough to attract sharks while in the water.
Although human blood does attract sharks, they are more attracted and interested in the blood of fish and other sea mammals than humans. So the likelihood of a shark of smelling you out and attacking is slim to none.
It is a myth that there are more shark attacks on women who are menstruating than not. There is little research that supports this myth through science. So there is little to fear ladies!
Plus, sharks don’t like eating humans. Especially those who are fully kitted up in dive gear and big metal tanks. As usual, keep your distance when diving with sharks. Don’t aggravate or touch them or get in their way while hunting and you’ll be just fine.
There is no need for concern. You will be perfectly safe!
Am I more likely to get decompression sickness while menstruating?
Again there is very little research on the matter. The research results available are inconclusive on the matter. It also shows that there is little to no increase in the chance of decompression sickness (DCS).
There is no real proof of it.
There are a few factors that could lead to an increased chance of DCS. One is your body is more vulnerable and susceptible to fatigue during menstruation. Those who menstruate are also more likely to become dehydrated and low on iron.
The best way to combat and avoid any increased possibility of DCS is to stay rested and stay hydrated. It is also a good idea to dive with more conservative limits and being conscious of no-deco limits.
Am I going to… leak?
There are so many misconceptions and rumours we hear when it comes to periods and water.
You are likely to leak a little bit, that is the truth of it. While bleeding, it is very unlikely that you will free flow in the water. Thanks to gravity and water pressure that will reduce or stop bleeding completely. It is similar to having a bath, where the only colour will be coming from your bath bomb.
Compared to the amount of water in the ocean, the amount of blood you will lose is minute. You won’t even notice it and you certainly will not be leaving a trail!
So how do I do this? Managing periods
There are a few different methods to manage your period while diving. No matter what your preferred choice is in period management. Number one is to pick what is going to keep you most comfortable and happy.
1. Tampons and diving
Tampons are one of the most popular forms of period management in the western world. So it’s no wonder it’s a preferred choice by many diving women.
Diving with tampons is very much the same as swimming in the pool while wearing one.
Femmine hygiene products are a big contributor to waste. By making an environmentally friendly choice of 100% organic cotton tampon, you can support a cleaner and healthier earth.
Remember to adhere to normal tampon change hours when out on your dive day.
2. Pads and water
It is wise to lean on the side of caution when it comes to the use of pads while diving. As you are going to soak up more than blood. You’ll come out with half the ocean water in your pad too! You’ll end up with something that resembles a nappy. Not so pleasant! You’re best to pick another option or go without. Gravity and pressure has your back!
3. Menstrual cups while diving
The use of the menstrual cup has skyrocketed in popularity recently. A favourite amongst women when it comes to the management of periods. There are so many benefits to the menstrual cup! They are of the best options on the market when it comes to managing your period.
It collects more blood than normal tampons, meaning you can go longer without having to change it. Perfect for an all-day dive trip in Komodo National Park!
Menstrual cups are the most environmentally-conscious option. Reuse, reuse, reuse! They do not leave a polluting footprint on our environment as pads and tampons do.
When it comes to diving with your cup in, of course, you can! It is a big selling point for most female divers to invest in a cup. You can partake in almost every sport while using your cup. It is absolutely dive friendly!
When travelling and diving in Indonesia, be aware that not all period products are available. It is best to bring them from home or do your research before you go so you don’t get caught out!