Research carried out by experts from Staffordshire University shows a lack of education around periods and pregnancy in women’s football.
A study led by the academics highlights varying degrees of stigma and silence concerning the menstrual cycle, hormonal contraception and pregnancy across the sport in six European countries.
Recommendations include hiring more women coaches and formalising coach education to include research on menstrual cycle, hormonal contraception, and pregnancy, to encourage an open dialogue between coaches and athletes.
Dr Jacky Forsyth, Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology, said: “The topic of ovarian hormones and their effects on training and performance, in addition to pregnancy and postpartum, seems to have received scant consideration within any formal coach education courses.”
The study was part of the European Women in Sport (E-WinS) project which is funded by the Erasmus + Sport programme.