Women jogging everywhere are faced with running through their menstrual cycle. As aggravating as this can be at times the good news is that there is no reason to stop running or training just because of a period. World records and PR's have been made at all times during a women's cycle!
The side effects of menstruation can affect performance one way or another as women have to deal with cramps, feeling bloated and the instability of mood swings that can affect psychological performance.
However one of the best treatments in fact can be to just go for a run. Think of it, sweating releases water that helps with the bloating, a.k.a. water retention. It also reduces the pain of cramps and can actually help to lessen the discomforts often associated with menstrual periods. So even if you are just not feeling up to a run going for a jog may help you feel that much better!
Dysmenorrhea is "painful menstruation". For some reason or another, not known to us, dysmenorrhea is more prevalent in athletic populations than non-athletic populations. Dysmenorrhea is explained to be caused by fatty acids called prostaglandins which are released before menstruation and last up to 2-3 days in the body after the onset of menstrual flow. These fatty acids cause the uterus muscles to contract which leads to reduced blood flow and therefore pain.
It can be hard for women jogging who experience dysmenorrhea as often times running enhances the pain. If you are one of these unfortunate women to have severely painful menstrual cycles talk to your doctor for possible treatments.
Amenorrhea is the cessation of the menstrual cycle. In our sport of long distance running, the incidence of amenorrhea is very high compared to other sports and something that should be monitored closely.
The first thing that should be noted is that the ending of your menstrual cycle is NOT normal or healthy!
There is strong evidence that amenorrhea has been linked to early onset of osteoporosis (bone density loss) in pre-menopause women. This is especially frightening as in the years leading up to menopause, women should be doing all they can to prevent bone loss and focus on building strong and healthy bones. The devastating effects of early onset osteoporosis on skeletal strength is not only a great loss of quality of life but something that can be prevented!
Causes of Amenorrhea:
First of all, if you are suffering from amenorrhea it is best to see a doctor to discuss treatments and causes.
Here are tips from doctors to also help in treating menstrual cessation:
Menstruation is just another fact of life that women jogging have to put up with. Really though, dealing with these issues not only make you a stronger person but also a stronger runner!