Episode 9: The impact of the menstrual cycle in sport

In this episode

A regular menstrual cycle is extremely important and a vital sign of good health and overall well-being. Nevertheless, women, girls and individuals who menstruate, often contend with debilitating symptoms associated with menstruation, such as fatigue, menstrual cramps, mood fluctuations, disrupted sleep, and headaches. Managing these symptoms pose a significant barrier to the participation in physical activities within schools and can negatively impact on the performance of elite athletes.

In this episode, Dr Natalie Brown discusses the perceptions and experiences of the menstrual cycle in elite sport and across schools in the UK, and how activity and good nutrition can manage menstrual-related symptoms.

About our expert

Dr Natalie Brown is a Research Officer within the Welsh Institute of Performance Science at Swansea University and an expert on female athletes and the impact of the menstrual cycle on sport participation and performance.

Dr Brown has a background in physiology and research related to hormonal response in athletes. She is also the founder of Optimal Period which seeks to promote a positive perception of periods and provide information on how to have a healthy menstrual cycle and overcome menstrual-related symptoms. Her research works closely with Sport Wales and National Governing Bodies across Wales, along with schools to improve menstrual education provision.

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