We all know the drill: Don’t wear white, avoid active sports and stay clear of swimming pools and the beach.
Yep, that was what most girls her from the mothers and school counselors when they hit puberty and start having to deal with “that time of month.”
But as George and Ira Gershwin astutely pointed out in “Porgy and Bess,” it ain’t necessarily so.
Yes, on heavy days it is probably not the smartest thing to wear that new alabaster gown by Dior, especially if you are not going to have ready access to a restroom throughout the day.
But, with a little planning, you can manage your menstruation and still carry on your daily regular activities.
When it comes to periods, there are a lot of myths that still need to be shattered, especially given the convenient hygiene tools now available to modern women.
So, whether you’re planning an intense tennis match at the courts, heading to the beach or spending a day by the pool, there is no reason to let your menstrual cycle get in your way.
Gynecologists say that, no matter what your mom and grandma might have told you, you don’t have to change any of your day-to-day activities when you have your period, including swimming.
In fact, no matter whether you’re in an ocean or a pool, swimming during your period is normal, hygienic and totally safe.
You might have heard that your period will stop or slow while you are in the water, and there is some truth to that theory, since water pressure tends to work against the force of gravity, counteracting your blood flow.
But the flow still continues, and you should wear some sort of menstrual product to avoid accidents.
Pads are not an option since while they absorb period blood, they also absorb water.
Tampons, on the other hand, are a easy way to protect against leaks, especially ones like Playtex Sport Athletic Tampons, which offer sport level protection with flex fit fibers and are so tiny you can discreetly slip them into your pocket or beach bag.
You can also use a menstrual cup, but when you empty it, be sure to not let it leave a bloody mess in the restroom.
As for other sports, research has shown that aerobic activities can actually help to reduce period cramps and spurs your body to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
So rather than using your period as an excuse to skip your daily workout, think of your menstrual cycle as a time to energize your physical activities.
Finally, understand that not all women follow the same monthly cycle, which can last anywhere from 18 days to 45 days.
And any number of factors, such as stress, diet, exercise and emotional events, can disrupt that cycle.
In short, having a period is a completely normal process, and shouldn’t have to cut into your daily routines.
If you have concerns about your period, don’t be afraid to talk to your primary care provider or gynecologist.