I just got back from a great week of diving in Manado with fabulous underwater critters and great weather, and I spent most of my days out on a boat diving in the ocean. Everything was fine and dandy, except for the fact that my period came about two days into my trip!
When you’re spending most of your time in the ocean, wearing a bikini and an assortment of wet clothing, it is not fun having to deal with that time of the month.
Many women keep a close eye on their cycles and prefer not to swim or take part in any water sports during this period (heh, pun intended). Others regulate their cycles by taking the pill so it doesn’t happen while travelling. If you’re like me though, then you just grin and bear it.
So for girls willing to dive in anyway, here are some things to keep in mind:
From personal experience, the only time you need to be worried about is when you’re not in the water – the water pressure while you’re swimming or diving prevents any untoward flow. However, you do have to surface at some point, and that’s when you need to ensure you’re properly covered or you’ll look like you got shot in the crotch.
Tampons and menstrual cups are really your only option, as pads will become completely soaked with water, but you’ll still need to change them about every 4-5 hours or the length of about two dives.
Menstrual cups are also a good option as they don’t absorb water and don’t have to be changed as frequently as tampons. I haven’t experienced it myself, but cups are supposed to be safe even when you’re diving and the water pressure is higher, so I’ll probably get one for myself to try out. I’ll keep you ladies updated on that!
All of these solutions are contingent on you having a safe, relatively clean place to change every few hours. But if you’re stuck on a boat with a bunch of men and no bathroom, what’s a girl gonna do then?
This hypothetical situation was a real one for me, where I was stuck out on a full day of diving on a smallish boat – there was no toilet (you just jumped into the sea to relieve yourself) or any sort of private area… Luckily my period happened the night before so I had a little time to plan, strategise and prepare for this.
I won’t go into too much descriptive detail, but thankfully most of the dive sites we stopped at were quite remote, so I picked a strategic time when everyone was busy eating, found a quiet spot on the roof of the small boat away from everyone, and got myself a large beach towel, a plastic bag and a new tampon. TMI? Hey, you do what you gotta do!
Do you have any similar experiences dealing with your period while taking part in water activities? Share with your fellow Go Girls!
Hello my dear Occasional Travellers! Anyway I’m away in Abu Dhabi right at this minute, so in the meantime here’s a little anecdote to tide you by… a little more personal than usual and more girl-related, but honestly boys, it can’t hurt for you to know (period knowledge always scores you points with the girls, trust me on this!)
You can catch up on my Manado diving posts here and yes, since that rather unfortunate situation, [BOYS IF YOU’RE SQUEAMISH AND STILL READING, STOP HERE] I have since gotten myself a menstrual cup (a lunette to be precise) and after one cycle of use, it’s actually pretty easy to manage and less messy than I thought, and if I’m ever diving on my period again in future this is definitely the way to go. More on that in a separate post when I’m back!