The free-bleeding movement—going without a pad or tampon during your cycle—has hit the gym.

Well, kinda. Some women are replacing standard protection with absorbent fitness gear: designed to soak up liquid.

Proponents claim it feels comfier, especially during cardio.

But is it hygienic? Undetectable? Houston urogyanecologist Dr. Terri-Ann Samuels, says yes and yes, if you follow these rules.

1. Don’t do it every day

Go “free” on light days. No protection with a heavy flow might make you feel annoyingly wet and distract you from your workout.

READ MORE: “I Worked Out In Reusable Period Panties — Here’s What Happened”

2. Keep it clean

Shower ASAP, within an hour, to prevent down-there infections (yeast and the like). Blood plus sweat doesn’t breed harmful bacteria, but the extra-moist environment could help it flourish.

3. Prepare for odour-prevention

If you’re self-conscious about smell—which can be less pleasant when tinny blood mixes with sweat—take probiotics. They help balance flora, easing odour.

READ MORE: This Is Exactly How Your Period Affects Your Workout

4. Use extra protection

Bring your own (dark) towel and place it over mats and seats just in case: You may mistake leaks for sweat. While period blood isn’t any more infectious than other blood, it has uterine lining—nobody wants to touch that.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com.

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