Yes, you can kayak while on your period. The key is to be mindful of where the blood might seep out and use a pad or tampon with wings if necessary. You can also consider wearing an outer layer that is not easily stained. If you are using tampons, then as a precaution, you can pack extras in case it overflows.
Since kayaking is generally done in the summer, the concern may not be a factor. You can just use pads or tampons without wings, and you will not have to worry about accidentally losing one in the water or on land. Of course, there is always a chance of flow or leakage with any type of pad or tampon. So if you are uneasy about this or concerned about where the blood will flow, consider wearing an outer layer that is stain resistant.
It should come as no surprise that if you are anxious about your period while kayaking, this will make it more difficult for you to enjoy yourself. You should not worry if you feel frustrated by having to use pads or tampons while kayaking. However, if you happen to notice any leakage, know that it is important to talk with the kayaking guide. You can seek their advice on how best to handle the situation.
Periods and kayaking – Advice
OK, if you’ve already decided to head out onto the water with your period and anything remotely rowing-related, how do you tackle a session with a tampon in? Here are some tips for having the best possible time out at sea.
1. Be prepared
It’s always worth checking that you have got everything you need – and that it is accessible should you not have been wearing it all day: A change of top/bottom, a spare tampon/pantiliner (preferably one of each) if this is your first kayaking session and a hand towel to dry off with when you get back to the boat. Have a change of clothes on board, too, just in case.
2. Know your limits
The physical relief of being out on the water can be great, but you may find that your cramps are just as bad as if you were sat at home. It’s important, to be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot manage during a period (just like any other time). If it’s bad, you could cancel your session or opt for a shorter one. If it was OK yesterday, it might well be fine again today – there is no logic to how much pain one person feels over another, so don’t worry too much if yours isn’t matching up to what others say they experience.
3. Keep calm and carry on
Once you’re out at sea, try to keep as calm as possible – worry and stress can make your cramps worse. Try to focus on the fact that you are surrounded by water, and the pain may feel like it is being stretched away from your body. On top of this, if you’re in a group, it’s quite likely that everyone else has got their own concerns – so try not to worry them with yours.
4. Watch out for chills
It’s easy to get cold on the water, and if your period has left you hot and bothered already, then a chill can make you feel really awful. It’s a good idea to take warm clothing with you if you are going out in cool/cold conditions.
5. Plan B
If your session is going to last more than an hour, it’s a good idea to take some pain relief with you. You can buy products specifically for periods, such as period pain relief tablets, creams and/or hot water bottles. All of these can be applied during the session and can help your cramps – and you may not want to take them while you’re out on the water.
6. Know when to stop
If your user guide or someone else has suggested that you should limit your time on the water when menstruating, then make sure you listen to these directions. It is better to stop your session early, so you don’t risk an injury or the pain getting worse.
If you are in pain or feeling uncomfortable, it’s probably best to end the session earlier than planned.
Take a hot shower or bath if possible after you get back; it will help bring down the swelling and relieve any tension around your hips and lower body. Stretch out for five minutes after your shower, too, as this can help with any cramping. Painkillers and a hot water bottle can also be used to ease any discomfort.
If your doctor recommends that you not exercise at all while you are on your period, then obviously exercise shouldn’t be possible. If you have had medical advice like this, don’t risk injury – try to relax and rest instead.
Remember, there is no reason why you can’t carry on kayaking during your period – just make sure you’re well prepared and listen to what your body is telling you. You should always check with a GP before starting any new exercise regime that involves putting pressure on your stomach or pelvic area. Many women have found that the exercises can be really beneficial.
Can You Go Kayaking On Your Period? – Practical Tips
If you are going to be doing any kayaking, there are a few things you should always remember:
- Always wear the most robust safety helmets.
- Wear waterproof earplugs to protect your ears from splash.
- When in the water, stay on the correct side and paddle as far out into the river as you can.
- Always wear sunglasses.
- If you are in a kayak, always stay on the boat.
How Can You Kayaking On Your Period
1. Be prepared to be uncomfortable
As with any other physical activity, you’ll want to make sure that you’re wearing proper attire and using the right protection (i.e., tampons). You’ll also want to take along extra protection like pads, just in case.
2. Bring a change of clothes
After your kayaking trip, whether it’s a day trip or a multi-day camping excursion, don’t risk getting your clothes all bloody! Wear something that’s not super important but can easily be thrown away or washed out if needed. It makes sense to wear dark colours that won’t show blood as easily either.
3. Use a menstrual cup with a higher absorbency
You’ll have to change your pad more often, but a tampon with a high absorbency will make sure to not leak during your kayaking excursion. Just remember that you might need to take it out when you get out of the water after each session.
4. Use a water-based lubricant
Pretty self-explanatory. Your vagina is super sensitive, so try to go easy on yourself. The last thing you want is a yeast infection or other nasty reaction during your trip!
5. Relax a little
Don’t be afraid to use your time on the water as a way to unwind and ease off of some stress. If you’re alone, take this time to yourself and reflect. Or, if you’re with a group of friends or family, make sure to bond over swimming and paddling. 😉
6. Know when to say when!
If you’re worried about cramps and bleeding, you can always just stick it out up until the point of your next cycle. It’s completely up to you and what you’re comfortable with.
Kayaking While On Your Period The Pros And Cons
1. Pros: You get two types of exercise for the price of one – kayaking and swimming! Not only will kayaking on your period gives you an intense core workout, but if that gets boring, swimming is always a good way to cool down. Also, if you purchase a bunch of pads beforehand, then they’re essentially free once they’ve been used! 😉
2. Cons: There are only a few cons to kayaking while on your period. The first is that you’ll need to use more protection during your trip. Next, you’ll have to worry about the blood getting on your clothes and potentially ruining them. Lastly, this might be a little inconvenient for some people – especially if they don’t change clothes or anything else in their plan B.
3. Bottom line: Kayaking while on your period isn’t something you should avoid if you’re comfortable with it. As long as you use plenty of protection, then the risks are minimal. This is a great way to get outside, burn some calories and have fun!
Paddling Techniques For Those Experiencing Period
Some paddling techniques can be used by a person experiencing period while paddling. This is especially true if you live in Canada, where it is now socially acceptable to have a period on the water in a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard.
To ensure comfort and prevent chafing, we recommend wearing full-length swim trunks or a long shirt. If you are wearing a skirt, be sure that it covers the whole bottom of your legs and that your legs are completely free of leg bands because they may not help you if they get in your way. Remember that an extra pair of shoes could provide additional protection for your knees in the water while paddling.
Another technique we recommended is to use a cork. The cork will provide extra padding between your knees and the kayak. The downside of this technique is that it is more difficult to drive your kayak, but there are ways to do so, even if you have a cork in place. We recommend using your knees as paddles by using them to drive the kayak instead of the paddle. This way, you can still feel comfortable in your kayak without having to change into another one because it doesn’t have a cork.
You should be able to paddle just about with anything at all on the water as long as you put safety first and stay calm when things get tough on the water. Do you want to make this kayaking adventure more fun? Bring your phone with you and take some good pictures and videos that will serve as remembrance for a lifetime.
How To Protect Your Paddles
- 20-30 minutes before paddling, wash and dry the paddles.
- If you’ve been using tampons, change them beforehand – at least an hour before you paddle so they have time to dry out completely. This minimizes the chances of any menstrual stains on your paddle adhering to it (or in contact with your clothes).
- If you have been using pads, change them 1-2 hours before paddling – again to allow them time to dry completely.
- Wear a dry t-shirt on your paddle if you’re paddling in a wetsuit, and you can’t avoid your menstrual fluid getting on the shirt (or your paddle). Taping the t-shirt up with electrical tape under the arms can help prevent your menstrual fluid from getting off onto your paddle or clothes later.
- Use non-silicone menstrual cups if you’re using tampons or pads. They’re available from several companies and at many sporting goods stores, including online.
- Contain your food/drink for paddling and wear the appropriate clothes (no tight clothing during paddling).
- Remember, you can also use a patch to collect your menstrual fluid or menstrual blood before you paddle if there’s any chance of it getting on your paddle or clothing later. Patch ads to the tampon-type applicator can be obtained in pharmacies and most drug stores. There is even some disposable cloth available in the swimming pool section of some stores once you’re done using them for swimming.
- Do not pull your paddle with unnecessary force. Only use enough force to keep the kayak moving forward.
- The hip-paddle is not any more effective than the knee-paddle in terms of overall paddling power: it takes less energy to push the kayak and paddle (or a bike) forward.
- If you’re wearing a skirt, wear pants (sweatpants, sweat pants or long shorts instead of full-length ones).