Sharks & monthly period

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by glidingray, Dec 5, 2000.

  1. glidingray

    glidingray Angel Fish

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    Just curious...

    Everybody said monthly period does not affect scuba diving activities. Any experience in diving with sharks when you're having your monthly period?

    ray
     
  2. Walter

    Walter Scuba Instructor

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    There is no evidence to suggest sharks are affected in any way by menstruation. Actually, most evidence suggests sharks are not attracted to human blood at all. Dive and enjoy yourself.

    Walter

     
  3. Dee

    Dee ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The only problems I have had with my periods during diving is the occasional discomfort from cramps. I don't like to take medications during diving so if the cramps are very bad, I just skip a dive or two.

    The use of Tampons is preferable to pads.

    One thing you have to be aware of is you are more prone to dehydration during your period. Be sure to drink plenty of water, more than you normally do.

    Enjoy your diving!
    Dee

     
  4. glidingray

    glidingray Angel Fish

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    Walter,

    Common knowledge is if you are bleeding in the water, even if it's only a small wound, the smell of blood attracts sharks nearby - it smells there's something yummy. Then you are prone to shark attack.

    It's in every movie :)

    Of course, shark is more interested in swimmer and surfer than to diver. Still...a diver with a small wound, that should attract a hungry shark, no?

    Dee,

    In dive travel I usually just take medicine (I forget the name of it) to delay it for several days. With such wet environment, won't a tampon size explode to an uncomfortable size?


    ray
     
  5. Dee

    Dee ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    << won't a tampon size explode to an uncomfortable size? >>

    No, it won't. It will absorb the mentrual flow only and will expand to fit your vaginal cavity and is easily removed. In other words, it does not absorb water like some think. The pressure at depth when diving also has no effect. I've noticed no difference in wearing them in the water.

    You can wear them with comfort, not to worry.
     
  6. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

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    Walter,
    I've been asked this question by students before, but never really had any proof to my answer. Where can I find the data I'm looking for?

    Mario
     
  7. Walter

    Walter Scuba Instructor

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    In the early 1970's David Baldridge conducted experiments that indicated mammal blood is not particularly attractive to sharks. His studies (he had been maintaining the Shark Attack File) also indicated many shark "attacks" suggested the shark was not trying to feed, but had motives other than hunger for the incidents. Incidentally, of the 1,165
    cases in the Shark Attack File (maintained from 1958 till 1969) 1,080 (93.1%) of the attacks were on males, this would seem to indicate blood from menstruation does not attract sharks. I'll look for additional documentation.

    As for "common knowledge" - well, it's frequently wrong. In the immortal words (pun intended) of Lazarus Long, "If 'everybody knows' such-and-such, then it ain't so, by at least ten thousand to one."

    I've been in the water with sharks on numerous occasions when I've been bleeding from various wounds. To the best of my knowledge I've never had any shark take note of me as a result.

    Walter
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  8. Ladydiver

    Ladydiver Founder

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    Hi Everyone,

    There is an interesting article at Women in Scuba about women's issue in diving. The article was done by Jacalyn Robert of Texas Tech University; Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

    The article has brief sections on diving during menses and diving while pregnant. Just an interesting bit from the article

    "There is no evidence of increased shark interest in a menstruating female. The hemolytic blood associated with menses may instead act as a shark deterrent (Edmonds, et al., 1992, p. 65)."

    So, based on this bit of info, it would make sense that there are more shark attacks on men than women.

    Also, my experience has been similar to Dee's. I haven't had a problem diving while using Tampons. It's just like using them on any regular day of you monthly period. Just be sure to stay well hydrated to avoid increase risk of DCS.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

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    Ladydiver,
    Thanks for the great info, I'll be sure to look it up and take a looksy.

    Mario
     
  10. Jo

    Jo Guest

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    As a female working full time in the tropics this is something that I get ask a lot about.
    I personally have never had any problems with sharks.
    As I understand it and in easy to understand english, the blood produced during our periods is old blood. Sharks like fresh blood!
    Also once the body is in water we temporarily stop bleeding so in theory (and I have never tried this) you could dive with out wearing tampons. The only problems being is when you get out of the water within a few minutes you will continue to bleed. So if you have a long boat journey or there are no facilities nearby, diving without a tampon would not be such a great idea.
    I know that I don't have any solid "proof" but after 10 years experience sharks have never been a problem. Maybe I'm just very lucky!!!!!
     
  11. luvdiving

    luvdiving Barracuda

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    Dear Ray

    I had a Divemaster working with me during a Rescue Diver class that was harrased by 4 to 5 gray sharks while she was waiting to be located and rescued. She later confided in me that she was on her period. I was always told that it made no difference if a woman was on her period or not but after that, who knows? Old blood? I've seen old cow and fish blood attract sharks. Why not other old blood?

    Luvdiving
     
  12. Narcosis1

    Narcosis1 Angel Fish

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    I was diving in the maldives with my wife who at the time had her period and I have to agree we too were hassled by a large grey reefy, he cirled us 3 times before displaying a rather strange aggressive pattern. We backed off and he followed us for about a 100 meter swim.

    I do not believe mammal blood does not interest sharks, you only have to look at seal and seal blood in the water and they are not fish!! If a seal is attacked then the sharks go mental.

    There is far too little research about Sharks to be able to say yes it does or no it doesnt effect them, all I can say is I think it is Fantastic and a priviledge to have a large shark so close so if it is the case I am greatful to my wife, If I was a woman i'd be a little concerned.

    And must throw away those Yum Yum coloured fins!!
     
  13. King_Neptune

    King_Neptune Founder

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    LadyDiver ...

    It just goes to show you that Sharks ARE NOT mindless killing machines ... They are smart enough to know not to mess with women every 28 days or so ... hehehe ... That's more than can be said about many of us men ... LOL

    I can think of many a time where the thought of getting cute or poking at a MAKO that's having a bad hair day, almost seemed "Intelligent" compared to crossing the path of the species otherwise known during such times as the "Pissedoffatus Femaleus"!!

    =-)


     
  14. Narcosis1

    Narcosis1 Angel Fish

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    Have to tread very carefully here!! As I dont want to offend.

    If I was a woman I think it would not matter who said what about safely diving with a period or not the fact of the matter they are currently still doing tests on women diving with their periods and have no real results to proove either way. Personally, to me blood is blood old or new and sharks like blood, so if I were a woman it would always be on my mind regardless, sorry.

     
  15. Narcosis1

    Narcosis1 Angel Fish

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    Are we right to comment on this subject after all we are not exactly qualified to comment here.

    Well I may not be a Gynacologist ( Or a good speller ) but we are all commenting on something we know so little about.

    Narc

     
  16. vr

    vr Nassau Grouper

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    Walter is right. Aside from shark attack files, tests conducted at RSMAS (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences) at the University of Miami and other institutes indicate that sharks are not attracted to human blood. They are attracted to fish blood and digestive juices.

    The idea that sharks are attracted to human blood comes from the movies and a time when we knew far less about sharks than we do now. It comes partly from faulty reasoning and assumptions. It has been known that sharks are attracted to bleeding fish (as when spearfishing) and the assumption was probably made that they are attracted to all blood.

    In cases where sharks attacked humans, blood was probably thought to be the main factor until we learned much more about them and learned of other, more likely triggers, such as low frequency sound vibrations.

    Narc, being male does not disqualify someone from being able to address this issue or others that affect women. Men can read scientific data and pass on what doctors have said just as easily as women can. The issue is information about blood and sharks, not actual experience with menstruation.
     
  17. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

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    I'm going to have to go with vr on the issue of guys being able to contribute to this particular thread. It does after all involve us too. I'm sure that you have been in the water with a female during her menstruation cycle.

    I for one wanna know!

    Mario
     
  18. King_Neptune

    King_Neptune Founder

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    Narc,

    The hopes are that if we can generate enough interest, concern and inquiries that maybe the medical communities will be inspired to dig deeper and take interest in these subjects. Probably just as important is to dispel rumors and set the records straight on the myths and create a safer and more knowledgeable group of divers.

    One of the real great things about this forum is we are blessed with the likes of Ernest "scubadoc" Campbell, Michael "Dr Deco" Powell, BillP, John Reinertson and others within the Professional Medical Community that can keep us "in check" and are willing to share what knowledge that is known about these subjects.

    For those of you newer to Scuba will quickly find out there are just LOADS of rumors and myths that so many believe are FACT and already we have all learned stuff here from some of the best of the best ....

    =-)


     
  19. caymancase

    caymancase Divemaster

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    If you're going diving with me and see a me chowing on a chocolate bar and a bag of Lay's potato chips with a mean look on my face?.....don't ask! :) Case
     
  20. jenmichigan

    jenmichigan Nassau Grouper

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