The Complete Guide to Swimming on your period?

2 Comments31 March 2022

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

Our 'Sassy' period pants have worked well for the team when worn as period bikini bottoms, but the swimming costumes are designed for use in water specifically as they are high absorbency, trapping period blood in the costume, not running down your legs!

I wish I had one of these menstrual swimsuits in my ten years of teaching baby swimming! No more dashing out cross legged, grabbing a tampon and towel and trying to dodge the gang of mums keen to talk about their protege toddler offspring!

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. Period proof swimsuits make it easy!

How to Swim on your Period

To swim on your period, it's best to 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.

Tampons have been troublesome for me as period protection when swimming (DISCLAIMER - definitely TMI coming up) here are some of my worst incidents - 

  • Knowing I was leaking every time I came up the steps for rubber duckies but carrying on for four hours!
  • Hoarded tampons in the toilets and had someone nab them leaving me stranded soaking wet with a class waiting for me in the pool.
  • Tied two strings together and wedged them both in! D R Y I N G. Think dentists and cotton wool in your cheeks! 
  • Discreetly changed a tampon in a cubicle and catapulted a clot into the neighbouring occupied stall - silent scream!
  • AND the most fun part is - I am ALLERGIC to them!

But now I plan to never wear a tampon again and so can you!

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 blood 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!


Good coverage in the bottom meant I wasn't dragging at the bum the whole time maintaining the 'seal'! When my kids splashed me, it bounced off as the outer just repelled the water. No leakage at all to report! I mostly stood shivering in hip deep water as this was a play swim on a Monday night.  

My masters club swimming session took it up a notch and again, the costume performed! I wore it on poolside for ten minutes, swam laps for half an hour - frontcrawl, backstroke, breaststroke, tumble turns aplenty! Then dithered around on the side before my shower. Totally leak proof and no irritation - 10/10!

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!


This costume is ideal if if you want to chill in a friends hot tub and your period makes an appearance, or you are planning a day at the beach, great for lane swimmers who don't want to have to miss a week once a month!

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? 

We expect our swimming costume for periods to hold 2 tampons worth of blood or equivalent of urine. If you are wearing it on a particularly heavy day, have a back up along for the ride - perfect time for a menstrual cup, or expect to wear for less time before rinsing!


How Does Period Swimwear Work?

By using similar technology to a pair of period pants, as it will hold 2 tampons of flow. The treated outer nylon fabric repels water decreasing the risk of water getting in and mixing with your flow - immerse yourself with the confidence that you can ignore your period. The athletic moisture wicking fabric in the costumes gusset plus absorbent lining for fast absorption into the core! Leak free swimming!

In sizes 4-24 we can take you from period swimwear for 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 and 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.

Previously I have worn a bra underneath while travelling, and then have to try and remember to take it off before swimming. I have forgotten to do this at least once! I have to walk to the beach and want decent boob support.

I have stress incontinence and feel very confident wearing this. I’m also perimenopause and my periods are unpredictable. After 2 months without one, I now have had had a week long one. So the suit has been fantastic! I just don’t have to worry about being on my period. I’ve stopped using tampons or moon cups so usually avoided swimming for a few days. Not anymore!

I’m in the water for up to 30 minutes and have had no problems at all. A surprise bonus is that usually, when walking into the icy water, there is an ‘ouch’ moment when the water level reaches the crotch, but not with this suit!! It either stops the water coming in or slows it down enough that the cold water isn’t cold when reaching the sensitive area! Which is reassuring.

When I take the suit off, the padded area isn’t noticeably saturated or heavy. I usually abandon the suit, inside out on the beach while I fumble into my clothes, and nobody could tell by looking at it, that I was either on my period or wearing a special swim suit.

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. 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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