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Initiating the Conversation Around Menstruation and Girls in Sport

We all know that puberty can be a rollercoaster of emotions and changes, and starting one’s period can be an overwhelming experience. For many girls, there can be a sense of embarrassment or awkwardness associated with menstruation. They may worry about leaks, discomfort, or even the fear of being teased or judged by their peers. These concerns can create a barrier that prevents them from fully enjoying and participating in sport and physical activities.

But here’s the thing – we absolutely believe that every girl should have the opportunity to thrive and be empowered in sport, regardless of her menstrual cycle. 

Let’s shed light on the unique challenges faced by girls, the importance of menstrual hygiene with adequate access to products, breaking the social stigma, and empowering girls through awareness and support.

Menstruation and Girls in Sport

Girls participating in sport often encounter unique challenges. 

Menstruation can affect a girl’s confidence, which translates back to her performance. Unfortunately, issues like stigma, discomfort, and limited access to menstrual hygiene products still exist and pose significant obstacles.

According to the Canadian Women & Sport, The Rally Report (2022), 25 percent of girls report menstruation limits their sport participation.

It is important to acknowledge and address these challenges with adolescent girls so they can fully enjoy and excel in sport and not feel insecure about their bodies. 

#KeepHerPlaying Campaign with Always and Real Canadian Superstore

Let’s keep girls in the game and playing with confidence! We recently partnered with Always and Real Canadian Superstore to help empower girls and their inclusion in sport.  

From April 28 to May 25, 2024, a portion of every Always pads purchase in a Real Canadian Superstore was donated back to Fast and Female to support programming and delivering an evidence-based curriculum covering topics such as body confidence. 

The Importance of Menstrual Hygiene and Access to Menstrual Products

Addressing menstrual hygiene needs is not just about providing products; it is about empowering girls and contributing to their overall well-being. 

We also recognize the efforts made by Free Periods Canada, a grassroots non-profit organization on a mission to provide access to menstrual hygiene products for girls. Access to these products is not only a matter of physical well-being but also impacts girls’ emotional health. 

Insufficient access to menstrual products can lead to discomfort, health risks, and increased anxiety. By addressing this issue, we can support girls in maintaining their overall well-being and ensure active participation in sport. 

When we raise awareness about menstrual hygiene, we help girls understand their bodies and feel confident in their abilities. 

Breaking Stigma and Opening Conversations

Stigma surrounding menstruation remains prevalent in various aspects of society, including sport. 

It is important to create an open and inclusive space where conversations about menstruation can take place without shame or embarrassment. 

Education also plays a pivotal role in breaking down stigma and promoting understanding. 

When the conversation about menstruation is initiated, we challenge societal taboos, dispel myths, and create supportive environments for girls in sports. Breaking the silence and promoting open discussions are vital steps toward normalizing menstruation in sport.

Empowering girls through awareness and support goes beyond the physical aspects of menstrual hygiene; it nurtures their confidence, well-being, and success in sport.