Menstruation, prestation och idrott : En enkätundersökning om elitidrottarens upplevelse
Sammanfattning: Background: Menstruation can be perceived as taboo to talk about in a sports context. Hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can affect sports performance through changes in strength, endurance, balance, and mood. Increased knowledge of women's physiology may improve the athlete's ability to feel good in her sport, optimize her training and detect menstrual disorders in time. Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate how elite sports women experienced menstruation and athletic performance. Method: A survey study was conducted using a web survey. The participants examined consisted of 76 elite females from different team sports; Basketball (n = 20), Soccer (n = 12), Handball (n = 8), Floorball (n = 20), Ice Hockey (n = 4) and Volleyball (n = 1) and from individual sports; Athletics (n = 1), and Triathlon (n = 10) which were represented in the study. Coaches, assistant coaches or sports managers from sports clubs and associations with women's sports at the elite level were contacted via e-mail with a request to forward the attached digital questionnaire to the female elite athletes in their organizations. Results: The majority of the participants (59%) felt it was taboo to talk about menstruation in sports. Just as many (59%) felt that they could not talk about menstruation with their coach. Of the participants, 95% had not received any education on how the menstrual cycle may affect athletic performance by coaches, sports associations, or sports federations. The majority of the participants felt that there was a lack of knowledge among the coaches and leaders about the woman's physiology (51%). Of the participants there was 68% who felt that menstruation affected their athlete performance, all though a majority of them did not adapt their training according to the menstrual cycle (95%). There was 37% of the participants who had experienced menstruation disturbances. Menstrual disturbances were most commonly experienced in the age group 16-19 years (44%). Conclusion: The majority of the participants of this study felt there was a taboo around menstruation in sports contexts. Most of the athletes felt that they could not talk to their coach or leader about menstruation. In the participants’ opinion, the menstrual cycle negatively affected their sports performance.
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