Question: I am a competitive swimmer and am in the water everyday day at least once for 2.5 hours. I also have a really heavy flow and feel really self conscious whilst swimming and am scared that I may leak even though I use heavy tampons. Whenever I have to get out of the water for dives I'm always scared that some blood will trickle down my legs and I can't help checking because I am so embarrassed! How can I ensure that I don't leak when I can't change my tampons regularly during swimming? Also, I am pretty fit and have heard that if you are under 20% body fat you lose your period, I think I am under this but my period continues to be heavy?
Dr. Farah Kroman: Usually, for heavy flow days, it's recommended to change your tampon when its full or after a maximum of 8 hours. Also consider a super tampon for the extra absorbency. Alternatively you may like to consider talking to your GP about hormonal contraception like the pill or progesterone rod - this can lighten the flow and allow you to skip periods altogether. The general consensus for when a period stops is BMI (body mass index) less than 17. This of course varies from person to person. Your period stopping is a sign that 'mother nature' thinks that it would be unsafe for you to carry a baby. If you are fit and healthy then you would still be able to be pregnant even if you have a low body fat percentage, and so your periods would continue.
Question: I was wondering what should I use instead of a tampon when I want to go swimming in a pool during my period? Really need help!!
Dr. Farah Kroman: There aren't really any other options besides tampons while swimming. If your periods are very light, you may get away with wearing nothing but that could be risky so I don’t recommend that. If you really can’t use tampons, you will just need to take a break from swimming during your periods.
Question: Can I swim while I have my period?
Dr. Farah Kroman: Swimming is great when you have your period. It can reduce your crampy period pain and improve your mood. Of course, if you are swimming during your period, you will need to wear a tampon. A pad will not block the blood flow and will probably start to fall apart. Make sure you change your tampon after you get out of the water as it will probably be a little wet.