Ask Shelley: Should I Be Showering More When I’m On My Period?

"I know it's probably only me that notices it but it makes me self-conscious..."

No matter what age we are, there are always common questions about periods. Whatever it is you’re wondering, you can be sure that someone else is in the same boat. Nurse, midwife and all-round puberty expert Shelley is on hand to answer all your burning questions.

Dear Shelley, 

I’ve been getting my period for about two years but sometimes I worry about the smell. I know it’s probably only me that notices it but it makes me self-conscious. I know blood can sometimes leak out the pad too so I’m wondering with all of this, should I be showering more to avoid smells or being dirty? 

Aine*, Meath

Shelley says:

Your period is NOT dirty, and you are not “more dirty” when you are experiencing your period. While there is no official recommendations on the frequency of showering outside of your period, there are certain activities, such as exercise, which should encourage you to shower more often. You should shower as often as you feel comfortable, and if you feel you need to shower, do! This depends on the day and your daily activities.

You could also consider a quick rinse in a bidet if you are lucky enough to have one or just make sure you clean yourself properly. Several times a week for a “full-body” shower should suffice, don’t forget about the negative effects of too much showering on your hair and skin and their natural oils! Ensuring you’re changing your pad/tampon/cup as frequently as recommended in their guidelines is the best way to remain hygienic and safe during your period. Rinsing every single time you change may not be possible, and neither is showering. A daily shower while on your period could be a general guideline, but again, it is what you feel comfortable with! Showering can also help with period cramps, two for one!

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*Names may be changed due to reader’s request.