We’re doing a little happy dance here at WUKA, as Swim England have recently announced important updates to their swimwear rules. Previously, competitors were prohibited from competing in period swimwear, but this has now been changed with a much-need relaxation of the rules. Hooray!
What are the new rules for competitive swimmers on their period?
The new rules, applicable to events held under Swim England laws and regulations, now state that period pants and period swimsuits can be worn during competitions- as long as they meet specific criteria. Competitors are not permitted to wear two full swimming costumes, or two layers under the rules, in accordance with the World Aquatics swimsuit laws.
Wearing period pants underneath your swimming costume is not classed as wearing two layers, according to the guidance. So if you choose to wear a normal costume with a pair of period pants, you will not be disqualified. But if you choose to wear two costumes, you will.
What is best for competitive swimmers to wear on their period?
Not all swimmers want to use a tampon to absorb their flow, and the myth that water stops your period really ought to be busted by now. Your period does not stop in water. It might not flow as freely (thanks to water pressure forming a kind of seal around your vagina when you’re in the water), but it will still flow, especially when you leave the water, which is when embarrassing leaks are most likely to occur.
We’ve also recently discussed whether or not you can wear a sanitary pad while swimming (spoiler: not really, but check this post to find out more) so it seems that until now, swimmers have been more than a little limited when it comes to managing their period during competitions.
Period pants for swimming
Period pants are fine to wear underneath your usual race costume, but most pants won’t be made with the right materials to really protect you against leaks. Yes, the gusset will absorb your flow, but it will also absorb the water around you too.
On the other hand, WUKA period swim bikini briefs are made a little differently. We use a special material which is waterproof on the outside to keep the pool water out, while the highly absorbent gusset does its thing on the inside, absorbing your flow and nothing else.
Wearing a pair of WUKA swim bikini briefs underneath your costume on lighter days will be enough to keep leaks at bay, so you can focus on your swim and nothing else.
Wearing the WUKA period swimsuit for competitions
Wearing two layers is out, and popping a pair of pants underneath your costume might not be the most comfortable option. That’s where the WUKA period swimsuit comes in. There’s no need for two layers, as this suit will give you all the protection you need, and even on medium flow days.
Like the bikini bottoms, the swimsuit is made with an aqua phobic material that will keep pool water out, while your period flow is absorbed by the gusset, and locked away for comfort. Waterproof on the outside, leak-proof on the inside. A winning combination.
And yes, the WUKA swimsuit is fully compliant with the new Swim England rules, so you need only worry about your stroke, and not your flow.
Shop WUKA swim collection
Whether you swim to reduce period cramps and soothe the mind, or whether you’ve set your sights on the next gold medal- we don’t ever want your period to hold you back. Shop the WUKA period swimwear collection now, for leak-proof confidence in the pool, by the beach or out in the wild. Wherever you swim, we’ve got you covered.
Shop the WUKA period swim bikini bottoms for light flow, available from size XXS to 6XL.
Still not sure? Here’s a review from one ‘swim mum’:
“I recently bought a pair of bikini bottoms for my 12 year old daughter who is a competitive swimmer and I just can’t thank you enough for making them so easily available. She hasn’t missed a day of swimming yet and has even managed some national qualifying competitions without any issues.”
And here's another one:
“Another wow from us for WUKA! My daughter is a competitive swimmer and uses the swim briefs under her training suit. They do not show through and work perfectly.”
Shop the WUKA reusable period swimsuit for light to medium flow, available from size XXS to 2XL, holding around 15ml of blood, or 2 small tampons worth.
Can you do competitive swimming on your period?
Yes! Your cycle never needs to hold you back, and being on your period should never be a reason for dropping out. The new rules on period wear now also mean that tampons aren’t your only option at this time- great news!
You can wear period bikini bottoms underneath your usual costume, or you can wear a period swimsuit as a complete replacement for both. Both are made with waterproof material on the outside, and a highly absorbent gusset on the inside, so you don’t need to worry about leaks at all.
How do competitive swimmers deal with their period?
Some competitive swimmers use a tampon, but many are now opting to wear a period swimsuit or period pants underneath a costume instead. The option for reusable period swimwear is much more sustainable, safer for all ages and accepted under the new Swim England rules.