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Everything you need to know about period swimwear
Everything you need to know about period swimwear
PSA: period swimwear exists and it's a game changer.
There are certain things in life that sound way too good to be true. A four day work week, the collapse of the patriarchy, a short regular and pain-free period, swimwear that's been designed to absorb your flow so you can wear it on your period and go swimming without a tampon or a cup in. While the former examples seem pretty out of reach, I was pleasantly surprised – and pretty astounded – to discover that period swimwear does in fact exist.
Not only that – it also really works. One of Unfabled's summer bestsellers, period swimwear is a lifesaver if you're due on and still want to take a dip.
Hannah, Unfabled's Founder, personally tested it out last summer and had nothing but great things to say.
"I couldn't be more obsessed with this product." She said, "Vigorously tried and tested by yours truly at music festivals, jumping off cliffs in Cornwall, going swimming in my local lido, and maximising beach life in Barcelona. My period has a habit of showing up when I'm living my best life, but having this swimsuit means it doesn't get in the way of any of my summer plans. I can't recommend it enough!"
But how does it really work? Why does your blood not just leak out if you're literally underwater? I needed answers to make the evidence make sense. I spoke to our friends at WUKA to find out more.
How does period swimwear actually work?
Just like their period pants, WUKA period swimwear is made with a special gusset, which is highly absorbent. There are some differences though, which enable you to swim with confidence on your period.
The gusset in WUKA period proof swimwear is made up of three unique layers. The first layer sits next to your skin, so is soft and breathable. The middle layer is highly absorbent, soaking in and locking away up to 3 tampons worth of blood. The final layer is aquaphobic, meaning that it’s water repellent and able to prevent pool or sea water from entering the gusset, thus also preventing leaks.
Will period swimwear stop blood from leaking out, even if I'm completely underwater?
Yes! Period swimwear is designed to absorb your flow, both in and out of the water. The water repellent outer layer of the gusset prevents water from entering, at the same time as it stops blood from leaking.
Incidentally, whilst in the water, a change in pressure around the vagina can actually cause your flow to appear to ‘slow down’. This is normal, but don’t be fooled into thinking your period has stopped. This pressure seal is temporary – so if you cough or sneeze it could alter the pressure and blood can escape. Likewise, when you leave the water, this also changes the pressure, so your flow will return to normal. Luckily, the absorbent gusset is on hand to prevent leaks!
Does period swimwear work if I have a heavy flow?
We recommend using period swimwear on light to medium days – but you know your flow best, so we suggest doubling up on your reusables on heavy days – with a menstrual cup and a swimsuit for added protection in the water.
If you’re using them to swim for long periods of time, they’re best for light days. If you’re spending time lounging by the pool with occasional, light swims then they can be worn on medium flow days. We don't recommend them by themselves on heavy days.
How quickly would I need to change out of the swimsuit?
Again, this is up to you and the uniqueness of your flow. Period swimwear will continue to absorb your flow when you get out of the water, preventing leaks as you exit, and if you need to sit by the pool for some time.
That said, some people like to change straight away into dry, clean period pants as soon as they finish swimming. We recommend changing every 3-4 hours, but as you know your flow best, this can be different from person to person.
How often do I need to wash it? How do I wash it?
We recommend washing after every use, following these simple steps:
- Rinse in cold water to remove any excess blood.
- Wash on a delicate cycle in the machine, on a cool 30° wash. No fabric conditioner or detergent!
- Air dry: never use a tumble dryer.
I've heard some forms of period underwear contain PFAS. Is WUKA period swimwear PFAS free?
WUKA period swimwear is 100% free from PFAS, and independently tested by Highstreet Textile Testing Services Ltd (HTTS) who guarantee that there is zero trace of PFAS in any of our products. ALL of the materials we use are planet friendly, animal friendly and contain no added chemicals.
The bottom line
So, there you have it. Period swimwear exists, it's reliable protection if you've got a medium to light flow, and serves as an extra safety net if you've got a heavy flow. Would you give it a go? Browse our range of period swimwear below – available with speedy shipping if you need it in a pinch!
Shop period swimwear
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