Question: My dad wants me to stay fit so he sends me to swimming once a week. But I'm really worried I'll get my period in the pool because I'm 13 and I know it will come any day now. I am terrified. I don't know want to do! Should I talk to my mum so she can talk to him or something?! What about if I do go swimming and I get it what should I do???
Lately I've been having days where I'm really sad and I like an crying for no reason.... My mum says that that's what happens to her the day before she gets her period and I want to know am I getting my period?????
Dr. Farah Kroman: Swimming is really good for you. Don't worry. Even if you are swimming when your period starts the flow is likely to be very light and probably won't be noticed. Have a tampon in your bag just in case. Sadness can be a part of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) which happens in the days leading up to a period starting or it can be more general sadness/depression brought about by the new hormones in puberty. Have a read at www.headspace.org.au or www.beyondblue.org.au. If you'd like to talk with a professional to help you deal with sadness try kids helpline (p. 1800 55 1800) or your school counsellor or GP.
Question: My periods are becoming irregular,and in a couple of weeks I'll be attending swim school since it part from the PE unit.I know my periods are going to come around then,but I can't exactly pin-point a date.What should I do to be prepared for it ?
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, so you can be prepared for swim school by having some tampons in your PE bag. 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 might be a little wet. Remember, it can take some time for a girl to develop a regular menstrual cycle and some girls can vary by a few days every cycle, even when they’ve had their periods for years. If after 12 months, your cycles are not fairly regular, or occur infrequently or too often (for example less than 3 weeks or every few months), see your GP for advice.
Question: Can you go swimming with a pad on?
Dr. Farah Kroman: I wouldn't recommend swimming with a pad.. It will become water logged and won't be able to absorb blood, which may mean you end up with leakage. I suggest you use a tampon for swimming or avoid swimming during your period.
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.