a female scuba diver on the ocean floor

Can You Go Scuba Diving On Your Period?

So this article is only really relevant to half of the people in the world, but it’s really useful to know about anyway.

There’s a lot of misconceptions about the female body with respect to all sorts of water sports, such as scuba diving or snorkeling.

So, can a woman go scuba diving or snorkeling on her period

Women are fine to go scuba diving or snorkeling on their periods. A period should never affect your ability to dive. In fact, some women report that diving helps to alleviate cramps and back pains commonly felt during periods.

The main factors to consider when planning to go scuba diving while on period are to do with the protection you use and what you might wear. 

a female scuba diver in the pool

Are Sharks Attracted To Period Blood?

Does period blood attract sharks? Simply put, no… 

There is the expression that sharks can detect blood from 1 km away, but more studies have shown that sharks simply aren’t interested in human blood, and it’s actually the gastric juices in fish blood that they detect. 

This is because if a fish is bleeding, they are going to be easier prey for a savvy shark to swoop in on!

The fluid released from your body is a mixture of lining of the uterus, cervical mucus, and other secretions. When inside the water, it’ll only leave the tiniest trace of blood.

So you can keep all shark week jokes aside, it’s honestly not an issue.

a female scuba diver with a shark

Menstruation and Decompression Sickness

Diving while menstruating is generally fine, but one study did show that scuba diving while on a period may increase a diver’s risk of decompression sickness. 

It observed that females were almost twice as likely to experience decompression sickness during the first week of their menstrual cycle (the week that you actually are bleeding). 

There hasn’t been much more research into this, and it could be due to other factors during menstruation, such as dehydration, which is another major factor to do with decompression sickness

Although most female divers do not experience any problems due to menstruation, it would be important to remember safety aspects of diving and planning conservative immersions while menstruating. 

This could include making fewer, shorter, or shallower dives and allowing time for safety stops.

a female scuba diver near ocean life

Can You Scuba Dive With A Tampon?

Most female divers tend to use a tampon when diving, as it is convenient and can be worn throughout the dive. When you are underwater, the pressure keeps the tampon inside, and it works as it would do on land.

The only issues with diving with tampons are usually after the dive.

Firstly, although the tampon inside your body may be doing the correct job, once the string gets wet from the sea water, it may draw the fluid from inside, causing some visible stains. 

You can prevent this by changing your tampon as soon as possible after your dive.

Sometimes you may be on a boat or not have facilities to change immediately, so wearing dark colored swimwear, and keeping your wetsuit on (even half to your waist) can prevent people from noticing.

Menstrual Cup and Scuba Diving

Another method of managing your period while scuba diving is to use a menstrual cup. 

These reusable gadgets are becoming more and more popular among divers as they are far more sustainable than tampons.

a beginner scuba diver learning in a pool

Simply place it inside your body during your dive, and pull out to empty it. They can be washed and reused over and over again.

The benefits of a menstrual cup are:

The cost – although they have a more expensive initial cost, the savings add up over time.

Capacity – cups hold around 30ml of menstrual fluid, compared with around 10ml for tampons.

No worry – forget being paranoid about strings hanging out!

Sustainability for the planet – no more period waste going to landfill.

a female scuba diver giving the OK sign

Period Proof Swimwear 

You can also buy period-proof swimwear, which makes scuba diving while on your period a breeze. 

This is swimwear with a specially designed gusset that retains the inner liquids, allowing you to swim without people noticing.

These are better for lighter days towards the end of your flow, or can be used alongside a menstrual cup, or tampon, for double protection.

In conclusion, can you scuba dive on your period? Absolutely! But you may need to plan ahead to ensure you have your period supplies ready.

So no matter the time of the month, happy diving!

Laura Michelle
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I am a Divemaster and have been diving for 5 years. I currently live in Playa del Carmen and love the range of ocean and cenote diving I can enjoy here. My favourite animals to see on a dive are spotted eagle rays, and my diving dream would be to see orcas or great white sharks!

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