Health The National Handball League organized a conference on Wednesday on the subject of menstrual cycles and high-level sport
The French handball team at the Euro. — AFP
- The National Handball League and Lidl organized a conference on Wednesday on the management of menstrual cycles for top-level sportswomen.
- The goal is to raise the awareness of the players, the young people on this subject so that it is no longer taboo.
< li>Until now, the menstrual cycles of the players were taken very little into account by the technical staff of the clubs.
Hop, no more than 152 grams of pasta tonight. Yes, and then, afterwards, you'll get a full night's sleep, minimum eight hours and twenty minutes of sleep. Rather goose or duck feathers in the pillow to make it easier to fall asleep? Nutrition, recovery, strength training, training volume… In high-level sport, with data, everything is now calculated; very precisely so that the athlete can be perfectly accompanied towards performance. But one piece of data is still far from the concerns of technical staff: the menstrual cycle of sportswomen.
“We are late on the subject,” admits Nodjialem Myaro, president of the Women's Handball League. So, to make up for this “backlog”, the LFH and its partner, Lidl, organized a a conference, Wednesday at; Paris, around the subject. The goal: “Raise awareness and be able to talk about it freely, so that it is a first point of entry so that young people do not consider their menstrual cycle as a problem and that it’ it is integrated in performance”, adds the world champion with Les Bleues in 2003.
“We don”t talk about what is experienced as a weakness” >
According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Sports, 84% of sportswomen experience their period as a difficulty. More than a third of the people interviewed admit that they do not talk about it at all, while 50% say they talk about it sometimes. However, this has a real impact on performance. Eating disorder, bloating, breast pain, headaches, cramps, mood and sleep disorders, poor stress management… “In sport, you need to feel successful, and not talk about what is experienced as a weakness,” explains Carole Maitre, gynecologist and doctor of the sports at; l’Insep.
Camille Comte, Maëlys Kouaya, Melvine Deba and Manon Loquay (from left to right) – A. Huot de Saint Albin/20 MInutes
“I was in a fairly irritable mood during the first forty-eight hours, I had stomach cramps, testifies Manon Loquay, who plays for the Neptunes in Nantes. I take Antadys to train. This impacts performance. Above all, I am tired, exhausted, with no desire to train.” According to a study conducted by Juliana Antero, researcher at Insep, on a female football team, the more the players have menstrual symptoms, the slower they run (10% less in speed) and the more pain they feel [muscular, bone… ].
Coaches must be trained
Within the clubs, if the subject is sometimes broached; between the players in the locker room, in an informal way, it is only very rarely with the sports supervision. “We haven’t been aware of the subject, recognizes the coach of Bourg-de-Péage, Camille Comte, present at the the conference. Çit deserves that we are trained. We have to worry about it because it has an influence on performance. Players say it doesn’t stop them from training, but they have great acceptability. pain. Sometimes they go too far, because it’s also their job.”
During their menstrual cycle, some even prefer to chain roucoulettes and chabalas on the parquet floor rather than remaining quiet on the sofa. “ Me, playing sports, çit helps me, recognizes Maëlys Kouaya, who evolves to Plan-de-Cuques. Off the pitch, I don't feel well, my back hurts. But, once at training, çit gets better, çis gone.” Obviously, the feeling is different according to the women. But Carole Maitre insists that pain should not be minimized:
Moderate to severe pain severe, it must be assessed, there must be a medical follow-up. There is enough to take care of, sometimes in a light way, even with homeopathy, so that it bothers as little as possible. In the search for endometriosis, the diagnosis is often very late. There are sometimes more than seven years before the diagnosis is evoked. And it's important to talk about it because endometriosis also affects teenagers. Do not think that period pains are inevitable.”
“Understanding the influence of the different phases of the cycle”
“A training done with menstrual symptoms will be grade less than a training carried out with musculoskeletal injuries [which still allow you to train]”, assures Juliana Antero. Through the testimonies of handball players and experts, the technician was able to understand in particular that the physical work carried out by one of his players to gain muscle mass had not worked, because he had been realized during the wrong period.
“ After menstruation, until the period of ovulation, muscle mass gain is more suitable, concedes Juliana Antero. It’s important to understand the influence of the different phases of the menstrual cycle and that’s taken into account in the individual preparation of the players. » In any case, the message got through. for Camille Comte: « Doing the right sessions in the right periods of the cycle can help in performance. It’s a parameter to be used. manage for me, like nutrition. »
To help him, to him and all the coaches, the LFH should soon propose a special theme to the coaches. the woman in training. In addition, an ambassador (player or member of the staff) was named in each elite club. A conference will then be organised, in the region, in the clubs, to draw the attention of the youngest to the subject, particularly in the training centres. Finally, in 2023, Lidl will update; provision, free of charge, of periodic protection in the locker rooms and toilets of the gymnasiums of the Women's League clubs.