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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 Instructor, Scuba

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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

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: near Houston, Texas
    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

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: near Houston, Texas
    << 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

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    1,803
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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 Instructor, Scuba

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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

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    1,803
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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!!!!!
     

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