The Complete Guide to Swimming on Your Period

8 Comments31 March 2022

Updated 12th December 2023

I've obviously been using Cheeky Period Panties as period underwear for a while now and when I heard that we were designing period swimsuits, I was THRILLED!

I've used my experience as a swimming teacher to compile our complete guide to swimming on your period:


Can You Swim on your Period?

Yes, you can swim on your period both in swimming pools or open water. Wearing a tampon or using period proof swimsuits or period bikini bottoms make it easy and there's no need to worry about getting out of the water with a bloody trail running down your leg. 

Period swimsuits have a special water repellent lining which traps blood inside and keeps water out - it's like magic!

How to Swim on your Period

To swim on your period, you can wear internal period protection such as a tampon or menstrual cup while swimming. Alternatively, period swimsuits mean you can swim without leaking, great for those who dislike internal protection options.

For teens or tweens who aren't ready for tampons for their menstrual period or who are on board with helping us reduce single use waste this is the perfect period proof swimwear, holding two tampons of flow.

What Is Period Swimwear?

Period swimwear is a swimming costume which has built in anti-leak panels and the water pressure helps to form a seal against your body. This means that bodily fluids including menstrual flow is trapped and doesn't escape when you swim.


This is me! I have swam in our new swimsuit four times now. First when my period was due, twice while it was here, then I took it for an icy dip in Hampstead Heath swimming ponds. I am over the moon to avoid tampons! It fits perfectly, the internal support and adjustable straps mean I could contain my large boobs and have them still look comfortable and perky!

Shop Period Swimwear

The costume is a beautiful flattering full body shape with support in the bust and nothing to give it a way as a sanitary product, bonus of no obvious bulging in the absorbent areas!

All of this makes it perfect period swimwear for teens and tweens - school swimming lessons no longer need to be avoided . Three teenagers have already tested it for us at school swimming lessons and it gained a HUGE thumbs up!


It is perfect for holidays as it's quick drying too, when you might wear the same swimsuit for a few days in a row. Just rinse the gusset and hang to dry for the next day. Give it a good machine wash at the end of the holiday!


Will period swimwear work with heavy periods? 

Yes, period swimwear will work for heavy periods, but is best either for shorter periods of time, or as a backup to internal period protection such as a tampon or cup on heavy flow days. We expect our swimming costume for periods to hold 2 tampons worth of blood or equivalent of urine.

If you often have clots, these will be trapped by the swimsuit, so when you remove it just turn it inside out over the loo to flush them away. You can even put the gusset of the swimsuit in the loo and hold the other end and flush. Easy!

Shop Period Bikini

How Does Period Swimwear Work?

Period swimwear works by using similar technology to a pair of period pants. The treated outer nylon fabric repels water which keeps water out and blood in.  This means that water doesn't mix with your flow.

In addition, there's athletic moisture wicking fabric in the costumes gusset plus an absorbent lining. This absorbs menstrual blood quickly into the core of the swimsuit. 

This combo means you can immerse yourself with the confidence that you can ignore your period for leak free swimming!

In sizes 4-24 pour leak proof swimwear is perfect for everyone, from tweens on their first period to past menopause catching those sneeze and giggle leaks! With double adjustable straps I fit my 34GG into my normal size 14 AND felt supported!

Can I really swim on my period in period pants swimwear? 

YES! You can swim on your period in period pants swimwear. Our tester Alison was a big fan:

"I’ve worn this at least 7 times now. Once in the pool and 6 times in the sea. I have it on for at least 30 mins before swimming, and because the bust support is good, I can wear it without a bra.

Absolutely delighted with this period swim suit! Does what it says on the tin.

Works for little leaks as well as periods. Stylish but still practical. Adjustable. 9.5 out of 10....... I’m so pleased cheeky wipes are considering expanding their range. Girl power!!" Alison Nov '21

Does Period Swimwear Work?

Yes, period swimwear works! Have a look at some of our fantastic reviews:

'Absolutely no idea how this actually works but it definitely does! Makes life so much easier esp for kids and holidays/swim lessons. Highly recommend.'

'I was a bit reluctant at the beginning and didn't think it would look that great on. But it was so flattering on and such a great fit that I wanted to wear it all the time!'

Tara gave it a trial as a swimming teacher - 

"Costume is great, does what it needs too, and comfy too, it arrived with perfect timing !! Great product!" 


Can you swim in the ocean in period swimwear?

Yes, you can swim in the ocean in period swimwear during your menstrual cycle. And don't worry, you won't attract sharks (should there be any nearby!). Shark attacks when on your period just isn't a thing!

We hope you've enjoyed our Cheeky period swimwear blog and we'd love to hear your swimming with periods horror stories, or love some feedback if you have tried our period swimming costume or reusable menstrual products - let us know in the comments below. If you've got questions about any of our period products, fill out our questionnaire and Kirstin will get back to you with her recommendations and many handy tips.

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About the Author:  Kirstin Scriven is part of the Customer Experience team at Cheeky Wipes, which since 2008 has been selling the original reusable wipes kit. She is mum to 3 and loves the forest, the sea and the hills!

Along with the rest of our crack team, she spends most days talking about poo, pee and periods and loves a chance to overshare. The business was recognised with a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2021, celebrating their hard work over the last 13 years.


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