Indian Women’s fast bowling legend Jhulan Goswami, who is set to retire after a ODI at Lord’s on September 24, has said more scientific research is needed to understand the effects of women’s menstrual cycles on an athlete, particularly in cricket where a player has to be on field for six hours.
“When I was young, I couldn’t even discuss this topic. I would just keep it to myself, not tell coaches, quietly fight through it. There is need for research to assist sports women during those days, especially if it happens to coincide with tournaments,” Goswami shared with former India coach WV Raman on his Wednesdays show on YouTube.
According to a 2021 study on women footballers, it was reported that swings in hormones can influence tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Muscle and tendon injuries were 88 percent greater during the late follicular period of the menstruation cycle, the time when the brain sends signals to the ovaries to prepare an egg that will be released.
“During match days, it is very difficult to stand and play for six hours on a cricket field. Once must give a lot of credit to all the girls going through such challenges. Menstruation is normal but the fitness and endurance by women in sports during those day is extraordinary,” she underscored.
As she elaborated: “If periods happen during competition time, it could mar the potential of output. Sometimes, people wonder arre yaar, isko kya ho gaya hai?”
In the end, her message was clear. More research and sensitivity is needed to help sports women and athletes deliver their best during periods. “I am grateful to you for having spoken up when you (Raman) were Team India’s coach. Hope others follow suit,” she stated.