High-level sportswomen and their rules, a complex relationship

Mead immediately received support from other sportswomen, such as Blues captain Wendie Renard: “If they (Nike, equipment supplier shared in English, editor’s note) can do the same for us, that’s great“, he answered in a press conference, referring to the request of the Lionesses to change the color of the shorts.

White shorts or not, the question of the rules of high-level sportswomen is no longer forbidden: coaches and governing bodies have taken up the subject, for questions of performance and for considerations of mental and physical well-being.

Insep (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance) published a 32-page guide in April entitled “Cycles, periods, contraception and performance“.

Written by Carole Maître, gynecologist at Insep and vice-president of the medical commission of the CNOSF (French National Olympic and Sports Committee), it answers eleven questions, including “Am I not efficient at certain stages of the cycle?“where”What is my risk if I don’t get my period?“.

About 5% of top athletes have “the sports triad

The rules can be a problem if they are neglected, but if they are well managed, it is not contrary to a sports career.“, said Dr. Laure Jacolot in an interview with Ouest-France in March 2018.

During menstruation, the hormonal situation causes certain fatigue. Menstruation can cause more or less severe pain that affects the game. This is the reason why some sportswomen make sure, during the competition, that there is no menstruation.“, he specified.

For Virginie Nicaise, teacher-researcher at the VIS laboratory (Vulnerability and innovation in sport), at UFR STAPS in Lyon I, “it all depends on individuals, how they react“especially in pain and hard times.

In fact, adds the academic, one can “wait before a competition“by chaining packages of contraceptive pills, but what about those who do not take them, because of their youth or their sexual orientation?

It turns out that there is a more serious problem, which concerns about 5% of top-level sportswomen: “the sports triad“.

This pathology comes from eating disorders, observed “in endurance sports, but also in weight category sports, such as judo, and aesthetic, such as gymnastics“, according to Dr. Jacolot, who manages the medical follow-up of the Finistère Pole captains.

This is followed by amenorrhea, ie loss of menstruation, which can cause osteoporosis, causing “seven times more likely to have a stress fracture“, determines the sports doctor. More serious: the reduction of “lipid profile“trains too”higher risk of having a heart attack“.

Sometimes nature plays tricks

In team sports, rules also have an impact on group life: “During the two months that the women H24 were together, we noticed a certain regulation and we often found ourselves with blocks of women who had their period at the same time.“, said Emmanuel Fouchet, manager of the French women’s volleyball team.

And sometimes nature plays tricks.

A player walks on water ten days before Euro-2019 and two weeks later, he is at the bottom of the bucket“, said the boss of the French volleyball players.We wondered if we had made a mistake during the preparation and then we found out she was pregnant“.

the pregnancy”completely disrupting his internal biology“, he explained.”With hormonal imbalance, he “overperforms” and then falls“.

For Virginie Nicaise, it is true that “the word of the sportswomen was released, and the listening and sensitivity of the staff, especially the men, increased.“.

However, he insisted to AFP, “it’s easier for an athlete to talk about tampons, sanitary napkins or a woman’s menstrual cramps“only with a man, from where”the importance of diversity in technical management“.

With AFP

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