Starling Travel

July 7, 2013

PostSecret: Swimming in the Ocean while Menstruating

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 2:34 pm

This postcard from PostSecret struck me with its familiarity.

PostSecret Snorkeling While On Your Period

It reads:

I don’t snorkel when I have my period because I worry about sharks.

I have worried about that as well. There are tons of times when I’ve skipped swimming or snorkeling in the ocean because of that very reason, but how founded is that worry?

According to

“The amount of blood that is produced during menstruation is so small that it becomes background with all of the other components that are in the water,” says Dr. Chris Lowe, head of California State University, Long Beach’s Shark Lab. “It would be very difficult for a shark to localize that.”

Even more importantly are the statistics from It’s Just A Period:

As of this writing there have been a male:female ratio of 9.2:1, or more than 90% attacks have occurred on males. This reflects a historic pattern of more males engaged in marine aquatic activities, especially those that put humans most at risk, e.g. surfing, diving, long distance swimming, warfare. It in no way can be attributed to sharks “preferring” males over females. In recent years proportionately more females are being attacked because more females are engaging themselves in riskier, formerly males-only activities.

Considering all this, I think I won’t let that fear worry me anymore. I’m just going to get out there and enjoy whatever beach we are near, despite my monthly cycle.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

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