Ever Wondered How Sportswomen Manage Their Periods?
Isn't it amazing how the number of Indian female athletes has increased over time? Whether it's Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal, or PV Sindhu, these sportswomen have made India proud around the world, and we couldn't be happier! While this is a sign of empowerment, there are a few things that have remained the same.
Female athletes have a harder time managing their periods. But that's how they've always done it. Female athletes were hesitant of discussing their "periods" on a public platform until a few years ago. Despite the fact that things have improved, there is still a long way to go.
Female athletes, on top of the enormous pressure that comes with participating on the world stage at the Olympics, also have to deal with their periods, which can be accompanied by other symptoms like cramps, bloating, and discomfort, as well as breast tenderness.
Most of us have used our periods as an excuse to skip P.E. or yoga lessons in order to avoid leaking and unpleasant cramps. Most female athletes do not have similar opportunities.
When it comes to women in athletics, there is a stigma. Because the industry is overwhelmingly male-dominated, everything feminine is viewed as a sign of weakness. Women gradually hide their problems as a result of this.
Periods and Physical Labor : A Crossroads
Female athletes are at danger of developing a condition known as female athlete triad since they are required to engage in hard training on a daily basis. Inadequate nutrition in relation to the amount of physical activity they engage in can result in irregular periods or amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea is a condition in which a woman does not have a period. Their bodies can be harmed in various ways if they do not eat a well-balanced diet.
A healthy body weight is required for the production of oestrogen on a regular basis. The principal purpose of this hormone is to thicken the uterine lining during ovulation.
It also has a role in calcium absorption, which is necessary for the formation of healthy bones, increasing the risk of bone injuries while training or performing.
Due to increased joint suppleness during ovulation, research suggests that women are more prone to severe knee injuries, generally known as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, than males.
Painkillers and contraceptive tablets are sometimes used by female athletes to regulate their menstruation. Nonetheless, it frequently causes emotional upheavals and protracted menstrual symptoms.
Women who do not take these pills get typical menstruation symptoms such as cramping, nausea, and vomiting. These variables, however, are rarely taken into account, and women are forced to undergo the same training as men.
Sportswomen From Other Countries Use These Strategies
When it comes to the stigma around menstruation, most women around the world, including those in sports, have had similar experiences.
However, in some nations, female athletes are not only breaking the silence, but also using new techniques to regulate their periods in order to maximise their performance while remaining healthy.
The United States' world-champion women's football team made menstrual tracking famous. The team had a dedicated menstruation adviser who kept track of the team members' menstrual cycles in order to tailor the training to their needs.
Before the 2012 Olympics, the England women's hockey team employed a similar technique. Apps for keeping track of your periods can be useful.
They are effective at managing team members' training and performance. The apps assist in synchronising the necessary diet and exercise with one's menstrual cycle.
More women need to enter the field of sports to make it more period and gender sensitive. Women's demands are often overlooked because the field is dominated by men.
Menstruation will never be normalised unless everyone works together to make it so. There have been countless examples of sportspeople being treated unfairly.
Any future wave of change in sports can only be feasible if girls have been encouraged to participate in sports throughout childhood, even if they are on their periods.
Menstruation should not be used as an excuse for women to quit playing sports.