Once Upon a Month by Incognito

SPORTS x MENSTRUATION: not always the best combo!

October 1st, 2015


Sports (noun):

Set of physical exercises in the form of individual or group games, generally giving rise to a competition, engaged in while observing certain specific rules.

Specific rules… for this, let's just say that there's a good shovel-ful of specific and sometimes even pretty dumb rules in sports, especially for women. Are you sporty? You are? Well, you've surely already had to deal with one of these girl problems due to having your period when playing sports!

Problem #1: Dress code

So what's the deal with making girls in sports wear white?! Ok, ok it's a question of tradition, blablabla, and in the olden days, only men did sports, but get with the times people! Isn't it about time things change?! Just think of karate. Imagine the girls who don't wear tampons, only pads. Talk about stressful!! And we understand that you move a lot in karate: jumping jacks, kicks, stretches, and the list goes on. There's also high-level tennis that can be pretty problematic when that time of the month rolls around! The prestigious Wimbledon tournament requires players to wear white… that's right, a white skirt for the ladies. A source of nightmares for some tennis players!

Problem #2: Bathroom breaks

Once again, if a girl has her period during a match or a competition, let's just say that bathroom breaks are a bit few and far between. Tara Moore, the famous tennis player, talked about how she had to play a four-hour set before being able to go to the bathroom, WHILE she had her period… and let's not forget the white skirt! Not exactly conducive to keeping the eye on the ball!!

Problem #3: Hormones

YES hormones affect female players' athletic performance! Good or bad, there's clearly something goin' on inside our bodies. According to some rumours, athletes from East Germany would get pregnant just before the Olympic Games – to boost their physical performance – and would then get an abortion soon afterwards. This practice is now (thank god!) illegal. Fortunately, some sports, particularly girls' hockey, consider menstruation more seriously during training. Some coaches track the girls' periods and adjust the training sessions accordingly so as to avoid exhaustion or dehydration! So when a girl claims she didn't play as well as usual and that it's surely due to a girl's problem, believe her!

Problem #4: loss of menstruation

This is a problem that occurs when a girl trains too intensively: it's called athletic amenorrhea. The menstrual cycle of a girl who engages in too many sports can become irregular or stop completely and can even cause infertility. This absence of monthly periods often results from the stress that the body undergoes and from a lack of fat tissue. The body doesn't want to uselessly "waste" energy because of a diet too low in calories. Basically, if you haven't had your period for several months in a row, see a doctor!

So, even if we still have a ways to go, feminism continues to flourish and society is becoming more aware of the impacts of menstruation on women's daily lives… so girls, let's not lose hope! J

Do you have any other SPORTS x MENSTRUATION issues to add to this list?

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About the author

After several failed attempts to achieve the airbrushed figures that magazines daunt us with, Sabrina has decided to focus on a healthy lifestyle...