SciFest National Final 2023

Stand 7

P.Eriod: Effect of the Menstrual Cycle on Participation and Performance During Physical Education in Schools and Clubs

Students Mya Doocey, Mia Galligan
School St. Joseph's Secondary School, Navan, Brews Hill, Navan, Co.Meath
Teacher Fiona Leavy
Venue Dundalk IT

Our project: P.E-riod is an investigation into the mental and physical effects that the menstrual cycle has on performance and participation in P.E. (physical exercise). Our project idea came from the fact that we go to an all-girls school and noticed that many girls choose not to participate in P.E. whilst on their period. We wanted to find out why this was and if there was a way we could improve participation in P.E. class. We carried out our testing through physical testing and online surveys.

Our investigation: It involved studying 16 students' P.E. performance whilst on their period (day 1-5) and compared this to when they were not on their period (days 11-15 and days 21-25) to see if there are any physical changes in performance throughout a woman’s cycle. We also compiled two surveys; the first survey was for all students in our school and the second survey for all levels of athletes ranging from club to Olympian.

Our findings: Exercise during menstruation can help alleviate symptoms and should be encouraged. During this stage (days 1-5) sprint exercises were completed at the students’ best (44% achieved personnel best). Strength and endurance exercises were completed at students’ best on days 11-15 of their cycle (during ovulation).

Coaches and trainers need to be aware that a female’s performance on one particular day may not be easily replicated a week later due to her menstrual cycle.

Raising awareness: In June we were invited to speak about our findings in the Dáil at a joint committee hearing. This was a great experience in which we got to raise awareness on a national level about the many issues that women face in sport. The issues we spoke about will be included in a national report called ‘Inclusion in Sport’.

Hopefully our study will raise awareness on an issue that affects half of the human population on earth (Women!) and make this topic more widely discussed in public.

Poster Click here
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SciFest National Final 2023
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