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 In Women and Diving

Scuba Diving on Period

Even though it isn’t always comfortable to address this topic, we thought it was time to demystify the subject for new female scuba divers. An average of 35%, if not more of scuba divers are women. Hélène Adams wrote an article about scuba diving and menstruation for the web magazine Differentdive.  

By the way, my name is Claudine, and I did ask this same question a few years back as I was about to go diving with Bull Sharks and Tiger sharks in Fiji. Even though I was a divemaster at the time, the fear was still in my head.

Hélène interviewed Stephanie Romnee, a gynecologist, scuba diver, and hyperbaric doctor. After talking briefly with Helene, I decided to rewrite her article but in English. 

Is it safe to scuba dive on period?

Preconceived Ideas on Diving While Menstruating

  • Sharks are attracted by blood …. fish blood (not human blood)

Scuba Diving and Menstruation; Information to Consider

There are two types of menstruation.

1. Menstruation without taking hormonal contraceptive :

While some women don’t take birth control pill, there has been researches which have noticed an increase in the water retention in women’s body.

During menstruations, stronger vasoconstriction appears and an increase in the sensitivity to cold. Theoretically, this would increase the risk of decompression sickness. Women are known to have naturally more adipose tissues which, again, increases the theoretical proportion of the risk of an accident.

In prevention, hydration is key.

During her cycle, a woman could have some hormonal changes such as irritability and distraction. These changes and their effects could lead to an accident not linked to decompression but linked to the lack of concentration. The possibility to make a mistake due to distraction or irritability is then increased.

2. Menstruation while taking birth control pills.

The contraceptive pills increase blood coagulation, which also increased, theoretically, the risk of diving accidents.

In a practical point:

  • There isn’t any modification of the hormonal cycle due to scuba diving.
  • You could always take the contraceptive pills and therefore skip your period.
  • There is an eco-friendly, user-friendly, tested, and approved feminine hygiene product: The Cup.
Hand holding and presenting a menstrual cup

Photo by Getty
Menstrual Cup

A real danger?

In conclusion, Stéphanie reminds us there is a theoretical risk for women diving while on period, but there is no scientific proof and demonstration that is the case.

 

For more blogs for girls that scuba – check out our article about hair care.

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