5 Tips for Dealing With Periods as a Cheerleader

by Guest Author
tips for dealing with periods as a cheerleading athlete

Whether you’re at a cheerleading competition, a camp, or just a regular practice, being on your period while cheering usually sucks, big time. 

While cheerleading is typically dominated by female athletes, the sport welcomes participants of all genders and gender identities. This means that the majority of athletes in the sport, regardless of their gender, will menstruate at some point or another.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, almost 75% of elite athletes have a negative experience training or performing while on their period. 

Having your period while cheering can be tough, but it’s nothing to feel ashamed of. Periods are natural, not something to hide or be embarrassed about, and important to talk openly about.

Here are a few simple tips to help you feel more comfortable during practices, performances, and competitions!

This post was created by a guest author. Any information and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not reflect our views. Want to be a guest author? Here’s how.

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Seek Medical Help for Severe Symptoms

If you can barely stand up, let alone stunt or tumble, make sure to see a doctor or gynaecologist if there’s something you can do or supplements you can take.

People with endometriosis tend to not be taken seriously, so if you think you might have the diagnosis, be persistent with going to the doctor.

Be Open and Honest

If you’re struggling with your period, talk to your coach about it and be honest with your symptoms.

If your coach doesn’t understand, talk to your gym owner or reach out to other athletes and their parents to see if they can help.

Being on your period is no joke, so don’t feel like you need to be embarrassed about it, it’s totally natural and not something taboo. 

Managing Periods During Practices

While practicing, wear long tights or any other pants if you’re not comfortable with shorts. Layer shorts under your tights if you feel like you want extra protection.

If you’re worried you might leak, don’t. It’s totally normal and something that eventually happens to every menstruating person and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

However, if you worry about leaking, bring extra leggings or shorts and underwear to practice so you can change if you need to. And of course, bring extra tampons or pads so you can change whenever you want to. 

Competing During Your Period

For competitions, it can be extra tricky and uncomfortable to be on your period. If it’s the start of your period, and you might experience a heavier flow, try tampons or a menstrual cup and, just in case, also wear a pad or panty liner.

If you can, bring a heating pad or bottle for cramps and bloating. And don’t forget painkillers! 

From personal experience, pads usually do the trick if you’re not bleeding very much. When I experienced my period during competitions, our uniform top was a bodysuit, meaning the built-in shorts in the skirt were really thick and sturdy, which made me feel protected.

If your team is getting new uniforms, talk to your gym owner or your coach about taking periods into consideration when picking out new uniforms.  

Menstrual Products to Consider Using:

  • Period underwear: Great for competitions + you can combine the underwear with a tampon or a cup to be extra protected.
    • TIP: Period underwear from ‘The Period Company’ is a game-changer! These undies are not only affordable but come in different styles based on your flow and what makes you feel comfortable. They’ve got junior underwear, boxers, shorts style, high-waisted sporty vibes – you name it.
  • Tampons: If you’re comfortable with them and your flow is medium-heavy. Consider different sizes depending on how heavy your flow is.
  • Pads: Keep in mind that they come in a variety of sizes, so you can find which ones work best for your needs.
  • Menstrual cup: Again, if you’re comfortable using it, it’s a great option that can hold much blood without leaking.

My biggest tip is to combine different products. If you’re wearing a tampon or menstrual cup, also wear a pad to prevent leaking, especially at competitions when you only want to focus on performing your best! 

This post was created by a guest author. Any information and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not reflect our views. Want to be a guest author? Here’s how.

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