Floating on your period is a topic that doesn’t really get brought up in the lobby of our center all that often, but I have had so many hushed conversations in the float rooms with women about it that I thought it was time for a blog post.
Floating on your period is totally your choice.
And to be quite honest, I choose not to. This is for a few reasons, namely that I get the most horrendous cramps the first few days and I would prefer to be in bed, not in a float tank. The second reason, and probably the least talked about: stinging.
Stinging sensations around your vagina are annoying at most and can also be slightly embarrassing if you don’t know what is going on. And although I know that the men who work at our center are open to conversation, I doubt most ladies most of the time would even be willing to bring it up. So instead, here’s my piece.
If you do experience a stinging sensation around your vagina, get out of the tank, wash the area off, and then use the A & D ointment we provide to create a barrier between yourself and the tank. Be generous. Then, get back in and enjoy the remainder of your float. This is stinging sensation can happen even when you’re not on your period, it just depends on the pH of your vagina on that given day.
It’s also important to note that this is all about pH and not about salt. Sometimes the pH of the tank and the pH of my vagina do not agree, and that’s fine. I wait a week and then try again.
Then there comes the decision of wearing a menstrual cup or a tampon. With this decision I implore you, please do not free-bleed in anyone’s tank. It is a woman’s choice to decide if she free-bleeds or not, and I have done it before, just never in a float tank. Please be respectful of the space you are using and wait until a different day to float.
If you do use a menstrual cup or tampon, ensure that it is a fresh, new one before entering the tank. When your float is over, be sure to empty out the menstrual cup and wash it with the appropriate soap (our soap may not be appropriate which is why I always wash mine at home with the recommended product), and then reinsert. With tampons, ensure you use a fresh one before you come and then change it after you get out of the tank.
And then there’s the legitimate fear of getting blood everywhere. And to that I will say, we ensure that all of our float rooms, tanks, and towels are completely and utterly clean before letting anyone reuse them. Sometimes things happen, and if you get blood on a towel it’s not a big deal. Just let your float facilitator know so that the towel can be separate from the rest of the laundry and dealt with appropriately. I will admit, I got blood on a towel once here and I was mortified (and I manage the place with my 2 good friends and boyfriend!), especially when I had to tell the person (a male coworker) who was working what happened. But he handled it really well and just took the bundle I made and gave me a little hug.
At our center in Saskatoon we also have tampons available in case you didn’t bring your own, tonnes of ointment, and a compassionate staff who is always willing to answer those seemingly awkward questions.
Have you floated on your period before? Did you find it relieved cramps or amplified them? How are your floats different on your period then when you are not? Let us know!