Periods and kayaking

Hey so I am going on a 30 day trip this summer so i am bound to get my period. I can’t use tampons like for medical reasons and I have tried using a menstrual cup multiple time but it just does’t seem to work so that leaves me with pads. On a kayaking trip I feel like pads are going to be awful please lend me any and all advice you may have. Thanks

We will also be wearing wet suits Pleas helpppppp Thanks

a drag but manageable
How many hours a day are you going to be kayaking in the wetsuit? That’s really the only portion of the few days of the period that you will have to be creative in dealing with. When I was young enough to have to deal with menstruation issues on extended outings I had several strategies. I will share some here which may or may not be helpful for your particular circumstances.

If you are taking birth control pills you have the option of skipping a period by continuing to take them for the duration of the trip. Talk to your doctor about this option for the duration of the trip. It’s pretty common to do this these days and doesn’t hurt you to do so. The body adjusts.

Taking the regular over-the-counter pain tablets naproxen sodium (Alleve) will safely make your period lighter and shorter (it is a prostaglandin inhibitor). In my own case it cut the flow in half and shortened it from a week to 3 or 4 days. Again, discuss this with your doctor if you don’t normally use Alleve.

Wetsuit material doesn’t absorb bloodstains and contact with water and cold temps tends to reduce or even stop the flow, so when I used to go rafting or snorkeling back when I still had periods I just wore a black tanksuit or shorts (that would not show any stains) and did not bother with pads or tampons while I was on or in the water. I would just rinse everything out in the river anyway at the end of the day after we made camp and changed to shore clothes, whether I was having my period or not. Dr. Bronner’s almond oil or lavender liquid soap works well and is biodegradeable

For regular period hygiene on trips, I carried baby wipes and would wrap used pads or tampons in those then place them individually in the smallest (snack size) ziplock baggies, which I stashed in a larger ziplock in a pocket of my pack for later disposal. Never had trouble with bad smells. I also always carry what I call my “pee tent”, which is an enclosed nylon Knalla rain poncho from IKEA that creates a sort of private “cone” that you can squat inside to perform any necessary bathroom type acts when there is no convenient place in the open to do it discreetly. I still keep my various hygiene supplies in the pocket of it.

I hope some of this is useful to you. I do have to say I’m really glad to be past that phase of my life (there are some plusses to being post-menopausal and you can look forward to that too.)

Best of luck and have fun on the trip – sounds pretty amazing.

Periods and kayaking
I will be paddling for around 4 hours in the am and we will stop for lunch so i would have time to change a pad then and after we will get back in and paddle for four more maybe… The times are very much so estimates because we aren’t allowed to know the time. I was considering just bring a swimsuit bottoms for when im on my period so that I can have them in case it leaks. I was also going to just bring a beach towel to sit on to avoid getting wet down there! Yeah its the first time I will have to deal with it on a trip!!

SOT or sit in?
If it’s a sit inside kayak, pads will work just fine with a pair of dry pants. That’s what I’ve been doing for the most part.

Can’t help if you’re paddling a sit-on-top.

presume you are in sit on tops?
Am I correct in assuming that this will be a whitewater trip in sit on top open kayaks? Since you said you would be wearing wetsuits, that is what seemed likely. Sitting on a towel is not going to keep your nether regions dry at all while boating. Wetsuits are called that because your skin is always wet while you are wearing them, either from water that flushes in from outside or due to your sweat inside or both. And kayaking is a wet sport – you only stay partially dry if you are wearing a fully gasketed dry suit and are using a sit inside kayak with a snug sprayskirt. Therefore menstrual pads are probably not going to be a good option as they will quickly become completely soaked and quite uncomfortable, like wearing a soggy diaper.

Diva cup
If you can’t wear tampons for health reasons but are ok health-wise for the diva cup, I think you’ll need to give the diva cup another try. It might not be 100% effective for you but gosh it will be better than soggy pads. That or as a previous poster suggested, adjust your birth control so you don’t have your period during the trip. I’m doing Baja for three weeks in a couple of months and that’s what I’ll be doing (and have done in the past).

sit inside
We are going to be in sit in kayaks… So i thought that if I put a towel in it and have my spray skirt super tight (as i normally do) would that not help at all? We will be on the north shore of lake superior!

sit inside
It is a sit inside but will that still work with a wet suit? With a super tight spray skirt?

diva cup
Technically I can but i recently tried it out just with putting water in and using it (as the company rep told me I could do) and it anded up spilling everywhere and was incredibly uncomfortable and talking it out in so painful (as with tampons)… my doctor told me I probably should not be using them but idk…

No problem!
OK, so you’ll be in a closed boat with spray skirts. Should be easy then. You have a couple of options.

Best option: do you have a roll? If you do, you have zero problem. Just don’t wet exit!

Short of NOT coming out of the boat, you still have a few pretty good defense:

  • You’re paddling Lake Superior. Is that where you’re based? If so, buy a dry suit! Problem solved for this trip, and all future trips. With the freezing water of LS, you’ll end up buying a dry suit sooner or later anyway. Might as well be sooner.

  • You’re base somewhere with warmer water. If so, you may not plan to spring for a full dry suit. An alternative is a pair of dry pants, WITH waterproof booties/socks, mated with a dry top, will stop casual water splashes dripping into your butt area. In fact, I white water in that setup. (I have a pretty strong roll, but even when I did a short swim, I was dry for multiple 2-3 minutes immersions)

  • Just a pair of rain pants, to stop any wetness from the seat sipping through to your butt!

    Basically, you just need to stop water from soaking through your butt area and making a bloody mess (pun intended). Wet suit is fine too, as long as you don’t wet exit.

    I think you’ll be fine. Just go with pads. If you have a double tunneled dry top, water aren’t going IN through the skirt. You’re all set.

    (The only other area that water can get in is through the legs. That’s why waterproof socks comes in handy. Though in this case, I’d just kindly ask my partners to launch me so my feet don’t get wet, just for those few days)

summer camp
The OP is going to a YMCA summer camp that will have a range of water and land based activities throughout the session, including kayaking in Lake Superior. She apparently doesn’t have much kayaking experience but these are guided and supervised instructional outings for an all-girl group. Having attended these myself when younger (Y and scouting camps) I think she will have the option to opt out of any daily trip where she might feel uncomfortable due to hygiene issues – this is usually the case at camps. We were always freely allowed to forgo swimming or any other activity if we wanted to when having a period.

In that case,

– Last Updated: Jun-15-16 12:53 PM EST –

it's probably best to just skip the kayaking during the period.

Was that mentioned elsewhere?