News that a great white shark is making its way up the east coast brings up a question that many of us have wondered about since puberty: Are sharks more likely to attack women during their period?

By Leslie Barrie
Updated May 11, 2015
Credit: Getty Images

A great white shark swam eerily close to the Jersey Shore on Sunday—less than half a mile away (yikes)—before making its way out to sea again.

The shark, dubbed “Mary Lee” is now heading up the east coast toward Long Island, according to the non-profit group OCEARCH that's tracking her route.

With beach season approaching, Mary Lee’s close coast encounter brings up a question that many of us have wondered—and potentially worried about—since puberty: Does swimming during your period make you shark bait?

Don’t turn down a chance to snorkel or stand up paddleboard just yet, because in short, the answer is no.

Reason being: The evidence out there hasn't shown a pattern of more attacks on menstruating women. "As someone who studies shark attacks, this is at the bottom of my list of worries," George H. Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research told Health.

On top of that, only three people worldwide died from shark attacks last year—so the chance of even getting in a precarious shark situation in the first place is super slim (despite what Jaws led us to believe).

So bottom line: Don't let the fact that you have your period come in the way of you and your aquatic activities.