Diving during your period

Although it is not always easy to address the points related to female diving, the question of the feasibility of diving during your period is an aspect that concerns at least 30% of the scuba diving public.

I wanted to know more and went to meet Stephanie, diver, gynecologist-obstetrician and hyperbaric doctor (MD).

Misconceptions

Let’s immediately debunk an idea that is still sometimes widespread, Stephanie tells me:

Sharks do not naturally attack humans. The blood loss of menstruation is not going to attract sharks.

I had addressed this particular point in an article that had raged at the time. Find out : Can I Dive When I Have My Periods Or Menses ?

Of course, divers know that there is no danger… but female divers are not necessarily aware of this when they starts the activity and are sometimes frightened that this may be a danger.

READ ALSO: Should we really be afraid of sharks ?

Diving during your period: what rules?

When it comes to menstruation, there are two types of bleeding that need to be distinguished.

1. Spontaneous bleeding:

These are menstruation for women who do not take hormonal contraceptives. During this period, water retention is observed in woman’s body.

During menstruation a stronger vasoconstriction appears  as well as increased sensitivity to cold. This should/could theoretically increase the risk of a decompression accident.

If we add that women have naturally more fat tissue  and combine it with other factors such as obesity, dehydration, etc. we surely increase the theoretical risk of an accident..

In prevention but also as a general rule, stay hydrated as much as possible.

During the second part of her cycle, woman may have effects due to hormonal changes: irritability, cravings, breast tension. As a result, there is a small risk of a non-decompressive accident. We refer here to the risk of making more mistakes due in particular to irritability…

If the condition caused by the hormonal change generates a situation of discomfort, it is certainly better to choose not to dive.

2. Bleeding due to taking the contraceptive pill:

The birth control pill increases blood clotting. As a result, there is also a theoretical risk of increased diving accidents.

From a practical point of view:

  • Overall, diving does not change the hormonal cycle.
  • If we have planned a diving holiday and this falls during the menstruation period, in case of contraception with pills we can quite take two blisters package of contraceptive pills in a row or even more without any danger.  But it is important never to shorten the use of birth control pills!
  • Diving during your period is quite possible, but requires some adjustments especially for everything related to changes of protection during the day (not always obvious on a boat or during a two tank dives with no toilet available.)
  • As for the protections, the cup is a great way (tested and approved by myself). For those who are put off, tampons remain a simple alternative.

Diving during your period: a danger?

In conclusion, Stephanie points out that there is a theoretical risk for women to dive during menstruation, but there is no scientifically evidence that this is the case.

What are your experiences in this area? Do you dive during your period (if you are a woman)? Are you paying attention to this particular period with your favorite buddy ?

Tell us this (without taboos) in a comment below

And above all… don’t forget to be happy 🤗

Hélène