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Can You Swim With a Menstrual Cup? Swimming on Your Period

If you’re a swimmer and tired of using disposable products, you’re probably wondering, “Can you swim with a menstrual cup?” Or maybe you’re about to go on a beach vacation and you’d like to use a menstrual cup but are not sure if it’s safe. 

These are normal worries because we know how stressful it is to swim on your period using disposable period products. Swimming with menstrual pads is out of the question. And you’re always worrying your tampon will max out while you’re in the water. You can never relax and enjoy your swim time. 

That’s why swimming with a menstrual cup is so liberating—it’s leak-free and perfectly safe to use in the water.

As menstrual cup experts, we care about ending period stigma and educating people around the globe on healthy period care. With this post, we’re going to debunk a few myths about swimming on your period, share tips on how to use a menstrual cup before you hit the beach, and show you why Ruby Cup is the best leak-free cup for swimmers. Sound good? Let’s dive in.

Want to feel freer when swimming on your period? Switch to a menstrual cup! For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now. 

 

Is it safe to go swimming on your period?

Image source: Ruby Cup - 01 Ruby Cup image of a woman wearing a bikini holding a menstrual cup behind her back

We understand your concerns, but we know it’s perfectly safe to swim while menstruating. So let’s debunk a few myths about swimming on your period.  

  • Myth #1 - You shouldn’t exercise during your menstrual cycle. Studies show that all exercise, including swimming, can decrease cramp pain and improve the quality of life when you have your period. If you’re particularly fatigued during your flow, you don’t always need high-intensity workouts like aqua aerobics or water jogging to reap the benefits of exercise. Even a low-intensity water sport, like a long slow swim, offers the same well-being. 

  • Myth #2 - Water pressure will block your period completely. Water pressure may temporarily block your menstrual flow, but any acute movement like laughing or sneezing can expel a small amount of menstrual fluid when you’re immersed in water. And while any blood lost will dilute instantly in large bodies of water like lakes and oceans, think twice before completely ditching all period products when swimming. Remember that once you leave the water, gravity takes over and your flow will return. 

  • Myth #3 - It’s unhygienic to swim on your period. Let’s stop stigmatizing our menstrual cycles as unsanitary and dirty. Your period blood is natural, just as harmless as regular blood, and safer than the trace amounts of feces commonly found in public swimming pools and water parks that studies show cause infections. Bleed with pride and never be ashamed of your natural flow. 

Is it possible to swim with a menstrual cup?

Since it’s perfectly safe to go swimming when you have your period, you can swim with a menstrual cup to enjoy a leak-free period even when you’re in the water. 

A menstrual cup works with suction, creating a seal with your vaginal wall to collect your blood. Your menstrual cup’s seal allows you to swim leak-free and prevents water from traveling up into your cup. No water gets in and no blood gets out, until you empty your cup, of course. 

Image source: Ruby Cup - 02 Ruby Cup image of a Ruby Cup review about how you can swim with a menstrual cup.

Is it better to swim with a menstrual cup or a tampon?

Though you can swim with either, when you compare tampons vs menstrual cups, menstrual cups are a better choice for swimmers. Here’s why:

  • Safety. Some tampon users complain about tampons absorbing pool or seawater while they swim, putting them at a greater risk of bacterial or vaginal infections.

  • Comfort. Most menstrual cup users say they barely feel their cups and forget they’re on their period. A menstrual cup is flexible and moves with your body.

  • Health. Menstrual cups carry a lower risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) than tampons and respect your vaginal flora without drying your vagina or chafing your skin.

  • Freedom. One menstrual cup can collect 3 times more menstrual blood than a tampon, giving you more time to enjoy your swim and no leakage.

  • Environment. Most menstrual cups are reusable, like our Ruby Cup, which you can use for up to 10 years and is one of the best zero-waste period products for swimmers.  

  • Peace of mind. No more tampon strings peeking through your swimsuit. No risk of a super-soaked tampon buckling under the strain of a heavy flow after a long swim as you come out of the water

It is so comfortable and invisible (no tampon string hanging around ;), so I feel absolutely free to go to the swimming pool or the sauna during my period). I absolutely recommend it! — Ivana

When you find your goldilocks cup, like Ruby Cup, you can experience a leak-free period in style, in and out of the water.

 

Our top 3 tips for swimming with a menstrual cup

Image source: Ruby Cup - 03 Ruby Cup image of a woman laughing offering her Ruby Cup to anyone asking, “Can you swim with a menstrual cup?”

Now that you know swimming with a menstrual cup is possible, use these tips to get the most out of your swim when you’re on your period. 

1. Learn how to create the seal to prevent leakage

If you’re a beginner cup user, know there’s a learning curve. You might learn how to use your cup right away, or it may take you a few cycles before you get it right. Everyone is different and there’s no specific time frame. 

To help you prepare for your first time and prevent any menstrual cup leaking, check out our complete guide on how to insert a menstrual cup for a leak-free period. We also recommend practicing using your period cup for one or two cycles before swimming, but if you can’t, just practice before your swim day to learn the basics:

  1. Fold and insert your menstrual cup into your vagina, then release your hold to let the cup pop open.

  2. Check if you created a seal by running the tip of your index finger around the base of the cup. If you feel any creases or folds, your cup hasn’t opened yet, which means no seal. 

  3. To open your cup, rotate or swirl your cup inside you until you feel it open. 

  4. Gently tug on the cup’s stem. If you feel any resistance, you’ve created the suction needed for a leak-free period. Well done. 

2. Empty the cup before you jump in

Another tip is to empty your menstrual cup before entering the water for a swim. Why? You’ll feel freer and can swim for a longer amount of time without having to worry about emptying your period cup. 

Also, if you’re a beginner cup user and worried about water getting into your cup, nothing is stopping you from emptying your menstrual cup after a swim, too. It’s always best to put your mind at ease when you’re getting used to your period cup for the first time. 

3. Take a bottle of water with you

At a certain point, you’re going to empty and clean your cup whether you’re at an equipped beach, or an isolated bay with only mother nature as your toilet. A bottle of water is all you need to clean your cup. 

Just remove your menstrual cup and use the water from the water bottle to rinse it out over the toilet (or the hole you dug behind a dune). Reinsert your cup and use any extra water to rinse your hands. That’s it. 

As a general rule, make sure to wash your hands before removing or inserting your menstrual cup.

Know how to clean your menstrual cup in a public bathroom before you decide to take a dip, so you can relax and enjoy a worry-free period even when you swim. 
 

The best menstrual cup for swimming

Ruby Cup is the best menstrual cup for swimming, and we’re not saying that just because we’re biased. Here’s why:

  • Creates the perfect seal: Each Ruby Cup is made with a medium firmness that is flexible enough to be comfortable, yet sturdy enough to create a seal for leak-free swimming. 

  • Made for every body: Ruby Cup Small can handle light to medium flows and you can trim the stem to adapt to a low cervix. The Ruby Cup Medium is one of the best menstrual cups for heavy flows and is great if you have a high cervix. Buy our discounted Duo Pack to have both sizes if you have a flow that varies during your cycle. 
Image source: Ruby Cup - 04 Ruby Cup image of the Duo Pack with each menstrual cup’s measurements
  • Body-friendly: Made with 100% medical-grade silicone, Ruby Cup is plastic and bleach-free.

  • Eco-friendly: Create zero-waste even while you swim. You can use our vegan and reusable Ruby Cup for up to 10 years.

  • Money-back guarantee: We’ve all been through the learning curve, which is why you deserve time to get used to your cup. We give you 120 days to exchange or return your cup, no questions asked. Use it with more than one swim before you decide it’s the right one for you. 

  • Buy one give one program: For each Ruby Cup you buy, we donate a cup to a person without access to safe period products, which means two people can now swim with a menstrual cup. 

Get your Ruby Cup now

Swim with a menstrual cup for greater peace of mind

We hope we’ve put your mind at ease and you’re no longer asking yourself, “Can you swim with a menstrual cup.” Once you know the facts about swimming with a menstrual cup, you can finally look forward to a day in the pool or at the beach when you have your period, and enjoy newfound freedom. 


Remember to use these key insights the next time you plan to swim on your period:

  • Period myths debunked: Swimming on your period is safe, water pressure will only temporarily stop your flow, and your period blood is cleaner than all the pee and poop commonly found in pools. 

  • Leak-free swimming. Thanks to the seal created with your vaginal wall, a menstrual cup prevents blood from leaking out and water from leaking in. 

  • Worry-free periods in the water. Long swims, scuba diving, and aquatic sports are no longer a worry when you use a menstrual cup because it holds more fluid than tampons or pads. With a Ruby Cup, you can wait up to 8 hours before emptying your cup.

  • Top tip #1. Always empty your cup before you go for a swim so you can enjoy the water and practice your water sport in peace.

  • Top tip #2. Learn how to use your menstrual cup before diving into the water. Creating the seal is essential to a leak-free menstrual cup use wherever you go and whatever you do. 

  • Top tip #3. Always bring a reusable bottle of water with you to clean your cup in a public bathroom. 

And when you take the plunge to swim on your period, use a Ruby Cup. 

 


Want to feel freer when swimming on your period? Switch to a menstrual cup! For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now. 

 

FAQs

How can you go swimming on your period without a tampon?

You can swim on your period with a menstrual cup. A period cup collects 3 times the menstrual fluid of a regular tampon and creates a seal with your vaginal wall for leak-free swimming. You can wear a Ruby Cup for up to 8 hours before emptying it, allowing you more time to enjoy your water sports.


Should you change your menstrual cup after swimming?

Empty your cup before you swim. A cup can hold 3 times more menstrual fluid than a tampon, allowing you more time to enjoy yourself. Blood can’t leak out and water can’t enter your cup thanks to the seal your cup creates with your vaginal wall, so you don’t need to empty it unless you think it’s getting full. 


Can water get into a menstrual cup while you’re swimming?

If you’ve inserted your menstrual cup correctly and created a seal, water can’t get inside your cup while swimming. Always empty your cup before a swim, and double-check you’ve created a seal for a worry and leak-free experience.


What do female swimmers wear during periods?

Swimmers who menstruate use either tampons or menstrual cups. However, menstrual cups are better because they are leak-free and studies show they have a lower risk of infection or TSS compared to tampons

 

Can swimming alleviate period cramps?

All exercise, including swimming, is good for cramps because it releases endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. It’s best to adopt a regular exercise routine to help cramps and improve your quality of life during your period.


Does water stop your period from flowing?

It’s a question of physics. Water pressure can stop your menstrual flow, but any acute movement could create enough pressure for you to expel some blood. If you have a heavy flow or clots, water pressure may not be enough to stop your period from flowing completely. And when you leave a body of water, your flow returns.  


Can you wear a menstrual cup in the ocean?

You can wear your menstrual cup in water, whether you’re in a swimming pool, a lake, or the ocean. If you want to test it before your next beach vacation, try wearing a menstrual cup in a full bathtub. 


Does period blood attract sharks?

Current studies show period blood doesn’t attract sharks. Plus, any period blood you may lose will instantly dilute in large bodies of water to make it undetectable. So between trace amounts of period blood and an ocean full of marine life, sharks have bigger fish to fry.