Sports birds on the rag

It doesn’t actually matter, does it?

With their promise of cramps, headaches and mood swings, most women dread their periods coming every month.
Even women with light bleeding can still find it uncomfortable, and for women with heavy bleeding and bad side effects, it can be much worse.
But what about women in sports whose career success depends on their physical capabilities?
For these women, periods are a much, much bigger deal.

As long as sports are girl on girl (and given the differences between male and female physique, that’s unlikely to change much) then it’s perhaps boring, predictable and maybe it does affect performance. But it’s going to, over time, affect each participant equally, isn’t it?

10 thoughts on “Sports birds on the rag”

  1. I’m astonished that some of the Eastern European countries haven’t tried hysterectomies & hormone replacement in order to boost their chances of winning.

    Unless the gains would be offset by losses..?

  2. No, false.

    That interpretation would be true if sport competitions were like tossing a coin forever, with a fixed population of players. But they are in fact highly skewed lotteries. In any career there are single matches where failure just means you are out of the game forever, no chance to make it back or average it out. You just don’t get to sit at the high-stakes table any more. Trajectory matters. Path dependency matters. Think destruction of human capital.

  3. No woman on the pill has to have a period. No harm is done by skipping the duff red ones which were originally placed there to give a simulacrum withdrawal bleed, mimicking the normal cycle. Most female athletes competing at the top are aware of this.

  4. @juliam,

    IIRC, many female athletes in the soviet union would try and “maintain” pregnancy during competition as it enhanced performance in certain disciplines

    Or this may have been baseless propaganda

  5. @ JuliaM
    At least one GDR champion has turned into a man due, principally, to overdoses of male hormones to boost her performance. Can’t remember the name but there was a big splash in the papers a few years ago.

  6. I wld like to see desegragation in sport. Yes you could create new rules and new sports that wld advantage genders but not spcfclly say you are excluded from this game bc of ur gender..

  7. @john77 Andreas (née Heidi) Krieger is the one that transitioned, but he says he experienced gender dysphoria before steroid doping and isn’t sure what he would have chosen without the doping – but wishes he hadn’t been doped so he could have found out for himself. It seems (as transitioning often is) a complicated story and rather unclear how much the drugs actually had to do with it.

  8. @ Richard Gadsden
    I bow, as usual, to superior knowledge. My memory seemed relevant, but provided incomplete data and analysis.

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