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What About a Dive Club?
San Angelo is a great place to live.  Great weather, great people and enough shopping and entertainment to keep you out of trouble.  San Angelo is not the center of the scuba [Read More]

Questions You Need To Ask Before Getting Certified...
Learning how to scuba dive is your ticket to the ultimate underwater adventure. The scuba certification  
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Why Buy Gear? 
Scuba diving, like many recreational activities, is equipment intensive. Recreational diving has grown from an obscure sport
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Support Your Local Dive Shop
The best deal in diving is an active and thriving local dive store. Dive stores are the driving force and center of activity for our sport, and if they're not supported, they go  [Read More]

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Open Water at Balmorhea


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Liquid Experience scuba Women's diving issuess

You just can't deny it - women and men are different.  Women divers simply have issues that men just don't have to deal with.  The following are a few of of the more common issues for women divers.  Being a woman does not in any way make a person a better or worse diver.  There are good and bad divers and gender has nothing whatsoever to do with it.  Women are different from their male counterparts anatomically, physiologically
and psychologically.  These differences result in special concerns that the woman
diver needs to consider.  A better understanding of these issues will enable them to
have a more fun and pleasant underwater experience.

Menstruation   Every woman diver eventually finds herself with the decision of whether to dive
during her menstrual period or not.  Many women choose to dive during their periods rather than
miss an exciting underwater experience, and there's no medical reason not to.  Considerations
include the use of tampons or sanitary napkins or both, privacy and bathroom availability at the
dive site or on the boat.    Some people wonder whether sharks could be attracted to a
menstruating diver.  There's no evidence the small amount of blood that may seep into the
water was ever responsible for a shark attack.  So don't worry about being eaten for lunch
by sharks.  Migraines can be a problem for those predisposed to them during their period.  If a
migraine is present or appears to be coming on, the best approach would be to sit the dive out
.

Pregnancy   A woman should not dive while pregnant.  Too little is known about the effects
of pressure on fetal development.  Should a problem occur in the pregnancy after diving - even
if diving had not caused it - it would have the potential to raise a burden of doubt and guilt that
could become a significant problem.  The easiest course is simply not to dive.  Should
pregnancy be discovered after dives have been completed, the incidence of complications
is still no higher than average.  If concerned a woman may wish to talk with her obstetrician
for reassurance.
 

Breast implants  Several years ago, there was a concern about the potential for gas uptake in breast implants. Researchers at Duke University looked at this in a study and found that while some implants could absorb gas, the exposures required were well outside anything a recreational diver would encounter.  There is a large population of active woman divers with implants presently
diving with no reported cases of any problems related to breast implants.

Decompression Illness   It has been suggested that women may face a higher risk due to the increased percentage of body fat, fluid retention during menstruation and blood sugar changes due to oral contraceptives.  A number of studies have looked at these factors and found no increase in risk.

Psychological  As already mentioned, men on average seem to take more risks than women. Apart from this observation, which may account for the disproportionate number of men who engage in technical (as opposed to recreational) diving, there seem to be no important psychological differences between men and women that would affect scuba diving.

Psychological   Though women now make up a significant portion of the diving community and are increasing their numbers, male divers still constitute the majority. The odds are your diving buddy will be male.  No doubt about it the male personality is different and his decision process may be different from yours, to say the least.  It becomes important then to adhere to your dive plan and objectives.  Make these known to your male partner beforehand.  If there is a dive that you do not wish to do or something else you want to do during a dive, it is up to you to communicate this.  Diving is too much fun for you to miss something or to be placed in an uncomfortable position because your dive buddy is a tad too assertive.

Breast Feeding  From the standpoint of the child, the mother's breast milk is not unduly affected. The nitrogen absorbed into the body tissues is an inert gas and plays no role in body metabolism. Insignificant amounts of this nitrogen would be present in the mother's breast milk; there is, however, no risk of the infant accumulating this nitrogen. From the mother's standpoint, there is no reason for a woman who is breast-feeding her child to avoid diving, provided there is no infection or inflammation

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
PMS is an ill-defined group of symptoms that are associated with the hormonal changes that occur in the week or so prior to menses. When severe, the personality and anti-social behavior associated with PMS could be a definite problem in diver interaction on a dive-boat and with a buddy. If the PMS is severe, there seems to be an association with underlying psychiatric disorders. It also worsens as the diver ages, associated with the widening range of estrogen swings.  Hormonal replacement works well with PMS.  SSRI's have been found beneficial.

Should Women Expect Special Treatment When Scuba Diving?
Ideally, no. The stereotype of a weak, mechanically disinterested, and/or uncoordinated female
is out of date and harmful to both sexes. Any woman who expects manual chores will be done
for her (carrying her tank, attaching the regulator, etc.) because she is a woman, loses the
opportunity to learn important skills and remain self-sufficient. Any man who abridges a
woman's chance for self-sufficiency by insisting on doing things for her not only demeans her
but also perpetuates an outdated stereotype. Also, if the woman is his dive buddy, he may
weaken skills she may one day need to help him.  Scuba diving is a level playing field; it is
no place for machismo behavior or sexism of any sort. Equality certainly reigns at the
professional level. Hundreds of women instructors teach open water and advanced courses
to men and women. Women run dive shops, operate dive boats and lead diving expeditions.
Resorts that carry tanks, attach BC's or perform other dive-related chores for its customers
do so for men and women alike. Obviously, scuba diving is no longer "a man's world" as it
was perhaps a generation ago. Today, it should be as acceptable for a man to ask a woman
for help with equipment or some other problem, as vice versa. When diving, women and
men should want and expect to be treated as equals.

 

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