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Do periods affect athletes?

Some days when you're training do you feel blah and other days you feel you can smash your PB? Have you ever thought that where you are in your cycle can impact your performance?

We chat to Emily Shears, the Founder of the Female Athlete Network and AFLW Player Engagement Manager. By way of background, she is registered pharmacist with a holistic perspective and post graduate qualifications in exercise sport science.

The Female Athlete Network aims to educate to break down barriers to start the conversation about training, performance and all things female athlete wellbeing for emerging athletes. Female athletes need very specific support with their overall wellbeing, not just for performance but also to keep them in sport and for their health and longevity.

Do you find that your menstrual cycle can disrupt your training schedule? Eg you may feel more tired at different stages of your cycle and opt for a different type of training?

Generally no, as long as you have your symptom management nailed and your menstrual cycles falls within the parameters of healthy...if your cycle is not within the realms of what is considered healthy and normal, then yeah – this can be really disruptive and needs to be looked into with a great team of doctors and allied health superstars. This can also mean that you need things like stress levels and sleep to align as well...good menstrual health isn’t just about a tick in one box! 


Does your period affect how you perform in competitions?

Generally no, but what I do know in terms of my own menstrual symptoms is that I feel my strongest mid-bleed phase, so approx. Day 3 through to about Day 12. 


Do you speak about menstruation in sports with fellow peers?

Yes, all the time, probably too much in fact that my mates would rather I keep my work at work...but when I am working with youth female athletes it’s a topic of conversation that I broach carefully and gently, I want these girls to feel empowered and educated about their bodies, so that they are able to get the most of themselves and their sport. 


Did you used to use disposables while training/competing?

When competing, and given some of the uniforms I have had to wear for athletics and rowing, I was always using tampons, but you’re always wary of leaks. While I don’t compete at high levels anymore, just local hockey, I now use Modibodi as a back up on heavier days, and if a little later in the bleed phase of my cycle (day 3+) I use Modibodi as a standalone product. 


Have you found period underwear to be more comfortable to play in?

100% yes, comfortable and definitely adds a level of confidence. 


What would you want to say to younger athletes about periods and leaks in sport?

They might happen, but just like preparing for an exam if you know your menstrual cycle you can be prepared. Know the days you’re heavier vs. the days you’re lighter and have a game plan, this will help with your confidence to just get back out there and play the sport you love. Having an amazing product like Modibodi makes this so much easier. 


What do you think of the Puma x Modibodi partnership?

This is so good on so many levels...2 brands making a stand about sustainability in menstrual products, a female founded Australian brand collaborating with an international sports brand such as Puma supports the fact that Puma is walking the walk about female specific athletic products, and it gives the concepts and discussion around menstrual health and education the air time it needs for the messaging to be clear to young women that we hear you, and we see you. 

A revolution in period activewear.   

The PUMA x Modibodi range is ground-breaking period activewear that combines our patent pending Activewear Technology with world-class expertise from global sports brand, PUMA.  

Get your hands on two new styles – the Recycled Active Short and the 7/8 Recycled Active Leggings, in classic black or chic aubergine colour. Both styles are Moderate-Heavy absorbency, and can hold 2-3 tampons. Made to make girls, women and people with periods feel comfortable in movement.  

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