While menstrual cycles have certainly not prevented women from becoming some of the most successful and revered contemporary athletes, many high-level competitors, including the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, have begun to break the stigma surrounding menstruation and are acknowledging how monthly hormonal fluctuations play a part in high-intensity training regimens. 

Apps, including Clue and FitrWoman, allow athletes to track their cycles and symptoms to adapt their training schedule and dietary needs for optimal performance. In addition to allowing athletes to train most effectively, menstrual tracking is also breaking down stigmas surrounding female health between athletes and their coaches. Jamie Main, head coach at Derbyshire-based Derventio Excel Performance Swim Squad, says tracking hormonal cycles is breaking down the “false taboo” surrounding menstruation. 

Menstrual cycles are a basic female body function and in acknowledging them, women athletes are breaking into new territory both as athletes and as role models.  This is another win for sports equality, and the editors at the Optimist Daily give a thumbs up!