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Menstruation and Maldivian sharks!!

Destination Expert
for Maldives
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Menstruation and Maldivian sharks!!

My wife and I are flying to the maldives tomorrow and my wife is carrying a number of concerns regarding the sharks. I have assured her that they are harmless and quite safe however she has the following concern: Are the sharks sensitive to or do they react to blood from small open wounds and in particular from menstruation? Is this a valid concern or is there nothing to worry about?

Many thanks for your assistance.

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1. Re: Menstruation and Maldivian sharks!!

Hi AL,

I used to have the same concern, but I never noticed sharks taking any more interest in the women snorkelling around the reef, than the men, but did a quick check on the web and found this:

The next item I took from an Internet page by Samuel Shelanski, M.D. called Diving and Menstruation, copyright 1994-1996 Rodale Press.

Over the course of their periods, most women lose between 50 to 150 ml (one-quarter to three-quarters cup) of blood and tissue. While this is not a physiologically significant amount, many women fear that this discharge may attract sharks. The truth is that women divers are attacked by sharks less often than men are. In his book Diving and Subaquatic Medicine, Dr. Carl Edmonds suggests that this may in part be due to a repellent effect of some component of the menstrual blood that is released. While this has not been formally tested, it is fair to say that the danger of shark attack from diving during one's period is substantially less than what results from other activities, such as spear fishing.

So tell her not to worry:-)

United Kingdom
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2. Re: Menstruation and Maldivian sharks!!

Hi Azurelagoon

You can tell your wife it's fine. I live here and go swimming and diving as and when. The sharks are more scared of us than we are of them. See it from their point of view: the ones you see near beaches are baby sharks and we're three times the size of them. They don't know that we can't bite. Even the full grown ones will take one look at an adult and decide we're far too big to bother with.

(Sorry to get technical here) If she's using tampons, then there won't be any blood in the water to worry about anyway. The same with small wounds or cuts.

3. Re: Menstruation and Maldivian sharks!!

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Removed on: 24 August 2009, 01:17