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People shy away from questions and talking about issues when it comes to riding a bicycle during that time of the month. It is no doubt that talking about one's periods is a taboo. Due to this, many women stay away from their cycle for those five days of the month. Simply because there isn't enough information out there about riding when on your period. From experience, riding eases discomfort and pain caused by cramps. Exercise is known to have a soothing effect on your body and the movement while cycling eases the pain in one's abdominal area. Of course, the questions that frequently come up are, What can I wear while cycling on my period? Can I do a long ride without compromising on hygiene? This article has a few suggestions on how to deal with riding a cycle on your period. Yes, you can have your cake AND eat it too!
PADS MAY NOT BE THE BEST IDEA:
While pads are popular with many women and ideal to use, they may not be the most ideal to use when you are on the saddle. If you are wearing cycling shorts, the pad will not stay on the chamois padding for long and will end up irritating you while on the saddle. Secondly, and importantly, they move around creating friction while you ride which could definitely lead to chafing and saddle sores. From a hygienic point of view, you will need to change your pad as often as possible, the longer you use one pad the higher chances of contracting a bacterial infection. A pad may be an okay option if you are going for a short, easy paced ride. If you are training longer and hard, then you should consider other options.
TAMPONS MAYBE BETTER:
Many women use tampons and are quite comfortable doing so. If you are cycling on your period, using a tampon may be a better idea. Tampons are considered less messy to use and can be used for a longer time period. A word of caution though, tuck the string away to avoid rope burn that can be caused by friction from the string. If you are on a long ride, do remember to carry spares that are easily accessible so that you can change when needed. Hygienically, it is better to change your tampon every few hours. Using a single tampon for a really long period of time can cause TSS- Toxic shock syndrome - which is a potentially fatal bacterial infection.
FOR COMFORT, FOR CUP:
The Indian market has opened up to selling menstrual cups. Many brands such as Diva Cup, ICare, Anytime, Silky cups etc are available in the market at a decent price. Using the cup is by far more comfortable than the other two options and it is a big plus on hygiene too. Easy to use and reusable, this makes cycling on your periods less of a hassle. The menstrual cup holds your flow rather than absorbing it. This allows you to wear the cup for a longer period of time without the risk of contracting a bacterial infection. Once worn right, it hardly makes a difference to the way you feel while on the saddle. The only thing that could take time, when it comes to using a menstrual cup, is getting the hang of using it the properly. Once you do, it's all smooth sailing from there on.
Don't let this red visitor of yours keep you off your saddle once every month. Many women I have spoken to have said that they feel the strongest, more energized and faster while cycling during their menstrual cycle. The only barrier to get past is getting out of that comfort zone of a couch or a bed and making it to your cycle.