Getting your period is never fun, but it is especially not fun in the summer. Every single person with a uterus has a tale of woe or two, from ruined white bikini pants to an unwelcome tampon-shaped pool floaty moment. For many of us, it has meant a whole week stuck shoreline, waiting for Auntie Flo to do her thing. Now, not to sound like one of those cheesy tampon ads, but those days are over. Introducing period swimwear from WUKA – one-pieces and bikini bottoms made with water-repellent outer fabric and thin enough to wear underneath your own favourite cossie.
I don’t know about you, but the very last thing I want to wear during that initial period-cramp-and-bloat-and-hate-the-world phase is anything exposing my stomach, so it was WUKA’s period swimsuit that I reached for first. Design-wise, it looks like any other black, sporty one-piece, with a scoop neckline (that isn’t cut too low), lightly padded cups and a cut-out racer back. I was thankful to find that there is more coverage around my legs and bum though, which made me feel more confident. The only way you can tell that this is a special kind of swimsuit is the reinforced, absorbent gusset, which feels just like the other period pants in my collection. When on, this definitely feels noticeable but not uncomfortable – like wearing a thin stick-on pad, just without the fear that it’ll float away mid-butterfly stroke. For period pant newbies, this ‘light-nappy’ feeling is definitely a strange sensation to get used to, especially when it feels like everyone can see your VPL from miles away, but WUKA’s period one-piece is very discreet and the friend I went swimming with at our local lido didn’t even realise until I told her.
Unfortunately, WUKA is yet to develop period swimwear for a heavy flow so I had to wait a day or so to test the waters (my flow tends to fluctuate month to month). This swimsuit is designed to hold up to 15ml of blood or around two small tampons’ worth, so is really only for your light to medium flow days. I wore mine for several hours in and out of the pool, at first popping up to double check that there was no red streak running down my leg, but the coast was all clear. In fact, the only time I noticed any blood leakage was a spot or two after my swim, washing my swimsuit out in a basin of cold water as the brand advises. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
WUKA’s bikini bottoms are made for the later days of your period, when it's at its lightest – holding just 10ml of blood. At first, I thought, what’s the point?, but then upon reflection, I realise these are perfect for those days when you want to get out into the water but its almost painful to put in a tampon; given that there’s not really enough blood to make it worthwhile. They’re also designed a little differently from the swimsuit, with higher-cut legs so you can wear them underneath another pair of bikini bottoms.
My summer holiday prep has been completely changed now thanks to WUKA’s period swimwear. Before, I would worry about having to pack tampons (which I hate using) or even consider doubling up on birth control to delay the inevitable. This takes all the stress out of what should be a relaxing, fun time. Ideally though, WUKA would offer heavy flow swimwear options. For now at least the most part of my cycle can be spent in the water, rather than spent glaring enviously from the sidelines.
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