Does Water Go Inside You When You Swim or Bathe?

Does Water Go Inside You When You Swim or Bathe

A normal healthy human has many orifices in which things can enter and exit: a mouth, ear canals, nostrils, an anus, urethra, and a woman has a vagina on top of all of that.

With so many holes in the human body, this begs the question: when you go swimming, can water get inside all of the aforementioned orifices?

Generally speaking, our body is mostly watertight because of the muscles surrounding each orifice clenching tight to keep things out. However, a weakening of those muscles due to fatigue or trauma can allow water to go inside you, though the water will flow back out and not cause any serious issues.

If you’ve been swimming before, then you understand that the nose, mouth, and ears are where water is most likely to enter from. However, let’s discuss each orifice and the likelihood of water entering them below.

Can water get inside your mouth?

Out of all the holes in a human’s body, the mouth is one of the holes that water is most likely to enter from.

The reason being, obviously it is one of the holes we inhale and exhale from which is crucial to our survival (the other being the nose, another prime candidate for water to intrude) .

When swimming, you will be holding your breath each time you submerge. Each time you surface to get a fresh breath of air is the time when water is most likely to enter.

Other opportune moments are when you open your mouth to talk or when your jaw drops upon seeing a gorgeous babe at the beach.

If you’re not paying attention, a rogue wave or a nearby splash can send a torrent straight into your mouth, causing you to choke.

Generally speaking, if you don’t want water to enter your mouth and you’re careful about when you open it, then water won’t get in because your lips will be sealed tight.

If you have a snorkel or scuba regulator in your mouth, water can get in if the mouthpiece is not a good size.

Whether the mouthpiece is too small or too large, it will cause your lips to squeeze extra hard to both seal against the mouthpiece and keep it in place which quickly fatigues them. As your lips tire, water can start to seep in and get inside your mouth.

Can water go up your nose?

It sure can, and boy does it hurt when that happens.

Whenever you jump into the water, make sure to pinch your nose so that water doesn’t shoot straight into your head.

Unlike with your mouth, it is unlikely that you keep your nostrils closed all the time. Yet water doesn’t immediately go up your nose unless you are facing a certain direction.

For instance, you may find that when your nostrils are pointing upwards (such as when you’re diving down), water will quickly start to flood inside. What’s going on here?

Water can get inside your nose when there is a difference of pressure between your sinuses and the surrounding water. As long as there is air in your sinuses, the air pressure keeps water from getting in through your nostrils.

Underwater, air will try to travel upwards. That is why when your nostril openings are pointing upwards, the air in your sinuses that normally keeps water out leaves them as they float to the surface. Without any air pressure keeping water out, water can begin to enter.

To remedy this, you either need to wear a nose plug or to constantly exhale to keep water out.

Can water get inside your ears?

Yes, and if it stays in your ears for too long, it can cause a painful infection known as swimmer’s ear. Learn more about swimmer’s ear by reading this handy PDF the CDC made.

Water getting inside your ears is not necessarily the problem, though you can certainly keep water out by wearing swimming ear plugs, wearing a swim cap over your ears, or both.

The problem is when the water stays in your ear for too long. If you choose to swim without ear plugs or don’t want to wear a swim cap over your ears, then you must focus on fully drying your ears in a timely manner.

Do not stick Q-tips/cotton swabs into your ears. This can damage your eardrums and push earwax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage.

Instead, use ear drying drops to cause the water inside your ears to evaporate faster. You can also use a blow dryer at the lowest settings from at least two feet away to increase the airflow in your ears, helping water to evaporate faster.

At the very least, tilt your head such that the ear is pointing towards the ground and let gravity assist you by causing the water to slowly drip out. Alternatively, place a towel on a pillow/cushion and lie on your side to let the water drip out.

Can water get inside your uterus?

Before water can even reach all the way into your uterus, it needs to first make it through the vagina.

Generally speaking, your vagina should be able to keep water out unless the water is under pressure (e.g. going down a water slide or standing close to a pool jet).

If you stick a finger in your vagina, you will feel that it is being hugged by the vaginal wall. It’s not just an open, empty cavity; there are muscles there that can be clenched tightly so that water does not enter.

Some women who are suffering from a pelvic floor weakness or a stretched vaginal wall may have difficulty keeping water outside of their vagina when swimming or bathing.

If you have given birth recently, water entering your vagina is quite a common problem that should eventually correct itself. It shouldn’t happen long term.

To reduce the likelihood of it happening, look up pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your vaginal wall and help it return to its normal size and firmness.

Why do I leak water after swimming even though I’m not pregnant?

Some water can make it inside your vagina if you decide to relax the muscles in that area, but as soon as you exit the water, gravity will cause the water to leak out. If you don’t like this happening, then try some pelvic floor exercises.

Can water get inside you through your urethra/anus?

The sphincter muscles surrounding your urethra and anus serve to open and close the opening. Generally speaking, they are watertight unless the muscles have been weakened or you encounter water under pressure.

When you exit the water, gravity will allow the water to flow out from your body.