- Provide information regarding menstrual disorders, symptoms to look our for, how they can be diagnosed and managed
- Highlight menstrual irregularities and abnormalities are more common than you think, affecting up to 25% of women
- Normalise the conversation around menstrual disorders to improve athlete awareness, health and performance
What are menstrual cycle disorders?
Did you know that menstrual irregularities and abnormalities, while unfortunate and often distressing, affect as many as 25% of those who get a period.
As an athlete, it is your priority to funnel your energy into training, competition, and a healthy lifestyle to optimise your performance. It is important if you are managing symptoms or have a formal diagnosis of a menstrual disorder, you are armed with the necessary information to forward and implement a treatment plan (from a medical professional) to help you get back to training, competing, and living optimally.
What are the signs and symptoms of menstrual disorders?
Typically, the various disorders can be triggered by multiple different things like uterine fibroids, menstrual irregularities, cancers, sexually transmitted infections (all types), and genetics. And, generally, symptoms of these disorders and abnormalities consist of:
- Pain and/or cramping
- Bloating in the abdomen
- Abnormal bleeding on your period
- Poor mental health and emotional stress – often culminating in depression
It’s important that when these symptoms exist and persist, they are brought to light with your doctor to achieve an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
How are menstrual disorders diagnosed?
There is a myriad of methods used to test for menstrual disorders that assist in achieving a formal diagnosis. These methods may include:
- Pap smear
- Pelvic examination
- Medical history (inclusive of female relatives)
- Details of menstrual cycles (this may be in the form of a period diary detailing symptoms, flow, and dates)
- Pelvic ultrasound
When these options are inconclusive, your doctor may explore more advanced testing options such as laparoscopy (also known as keyhole surgery) or arrange other pathology and medical imaging.
How are menstrual disorders treated and managed?
Once a diagnosis is reached, a treatment plan can be put in place to help minimise the impact of the disorder in your everyday life.
Depending on your symptoms, diagnoses and individual goals, there are several ways your doctor may go about treating you. From holistic lifestyle changes to dietary changes, medicinal treatment, and surgery there are multiple options available to combat your symptoms and help you focus on swimming performance.
If you’re struggling with any symptoms of a menstrual condition, we encourage you to get in touch with a medical professional who can help you get back on the track.
When should I see a doctor?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or have concerns about menstrual cycle impacting your life and athletic performance, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We have a network of specialised General Practitioners, fertility specialists and gynaecologists across Australia who will be more than happy to speak with you and discuss your individual circumstances.
With over 50 dedicated specialists across 70 consulting locations throughout the country, Ignite Athlete’s friendly team can help you choose the right medical professional to guide you and help you achieve your sporting goals.
- Menstrual disorders and abnormalities are more common than you think, affecting up to 25% of women.
- The key signs and symptoms to be aware for menstrual disorders include abnormal bleeding on your period, pain, cramping, headaches, abdominal bloating and poor mental health
- It is important to consult a doctor in order to establish a diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan based on your symptoms and individual goals