Exercise is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle, yet many women avoid working out or swimming when they get their period. This is perfectly understandable. When you have stomach cramps, your flow is heavy, and you can’t bear to get out of bed, finding the motivation to exercise is not easy. However, exercise is good for you and working out or swimming is perfectly possible when you use a menstrual cup. In this article, we are going to discuss why menstrual cups can help you maintain an active lifestyle.
Why it’s Helpful to Exercise on Your Period
Exercise is surprisingly helpful during menstruation. Exercise boosts blood circulation in the pelvic area, which reduces pain. You might not feel up to doing anything too energetic if you’re in significant pain, but gentle exercise, such as swimming, is good for you. 36% of female athletes questioned in a top study reported that they experienced less pain when they exercised during their period. This is, in part, due to the release of feel-good hormones, otherwise known as endorphins. Exercise also reduces the bloat women often have during their period.
Why Women Don’t Enjoy Exercising During Their Period
Let’s be honest. Periods are messy, especially in the first 2-3 days. Most women don’t want to take the risk of accidents at the gym or in the pool. Whilst modern sanitary products have made it incredibly easy to carry on as normal during menstruation, they are not always 100% reliable. Tampons need changing every four hours and sanitary pads can leak if you have a heavy flow. Nobody wants to be that woman with an embarrassing red stain on their white gym shorts.
The good news is that none of these issues matter when you use a menstrual cup. With a menstrual cup in place, you can forget about your period for 12 hours at a time. Odour isn’t a problem. Nothing is off-limits, even the swimming pool. And if you want to try some high-octane sports, go right ahead! Your nerves might be shredded, but you won’t have to suffer the indignity of leaks.
Why Menstrual Cups and Exercise Work Well Together
Menstrual cups are inserted into the vagina, just like a tampon. Unlike a tampon, a menstrual cup can be left in place for up to 12 hours at a time. When used correctly, a menstrual cup is more sanitary than a tampon or pad. Menstrual cups have enough capacity for up to 12 hours’ worth of menstrual flow, although you will probably need to empty your cup sooner if your flow is very heavy.
Get used to using your menstrual cup before you try doing anything too extreme. Most women don’t suffer from leaks once they get the hang of inserting their menstrual cup correctly, but it is sensible to wear a pad the first few times you use a cup, just in case of leaks. Once you are comfortable inserting a menstrual cup, pads shouldn’t be necessary.
With a menstrual cup in place, you are free to swim, cycle, run, or workout at the gym. Nobody will know you have your period. Wearing a menstrual cup is very comfortable. Because it sits high up in the vagina, you won’t even feel it’s there. There is no bulky sanitary pad to worry about or a dangling string. No uncomfortable chafing either.
Swimming with a Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups are great if you love to swim, as you can stay in the water for as long as you want without worrying about leaks. In addition, because there is no string hanging down to absorb water, there is no chance of chemically treated or dirty water entering the vagina. You can swim, dive, or just hang out in the water with complete confidence.
Extreme Sports with a Menstrual Cup
Extreme sports are not everyone’s passion, but if you have an ironman to complete or a long-distance trek, you’re good to go. If you need to empty your cup outside, wipe it with tissues and give it a rinse with some clean water. Make sure you clean your hands before you empty your menstrual cup.
Don’t let your period slow you down. You can swim and workout with a menstrual cup! Yes, really!