Dropping the Wimbledon all-white dress code is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to normalise period conversations, says GP

Posted: 28th July 2023

As Wimbledon dropped the tournament’s all-white dress code this year to allow female tennis players to wear dark clothes when they are menstruating, NHS and Sports GP Dr Dave Nichols says the same needs to be done in other sports and industries…

MyHealthChecked’s NHS GP, Dr Dave Nichols – who has worked across various professional female sports – has praised the Wimbledon milestone and the message it sends. However, he says there is still a way to go to support women in sport and work, both physically and emotionally.

Dr Dave Nichols says: “Women adopting the relaxed dress code at Wimbledon will not only make the sport more inclusive but will also encourage healthy dialogue regarding female health problems in sport. Normalising conversations around periods is important. Whilst this marks a significant change in the world of sport, more needs to be done across all areas of society to empower and encourage women to talk freely on the subject. It would be great if changes can be adopted more widely in sport, plus other areas of employment and in education, to support women to feel more comfortable and to perform at their best.

“As a GP and sports doctor who works across various professional female sports, I believe reviewing dress codes in sport is long overdue. If concerns regarding periods are not addressed, it can lead to avoidance behaviours in both sport and other activities during parts of their cycle. This can also have a significant psychological impact for women, leading to problems such as anxiety or depression.

“Historically, managing problems around periods for women in sport would often mean starting a medication – such as a contraceptive pill – to try and control their bleeding. However, new rules which allow women to have greater autonomy are welcomed. This allows women to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. The availability of MyHealthChecked’s at home self-testing is a quick and easy initial test that women can use to provide some insight into their experiences. For any women with concerns about their menstrual cycle, a GP visit is recommended.

“Heavy periods (menorrhagia) or irregular periods are really common problems that females present to their GP with. It would be great to see more patients feeling comfortable to come forward to their GP to discuss these problems so they can understand why this may be happening. For some, this may be part of their normal bleeding pattern, however for others there may be another cause of this, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). At-home health and well-being tests at MyHealthChecked include a test for PCOS, as well as other health aspects.”


Source:  (wellbeingnews.co.uk)

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