How often have you arrived at competition and realized you just started your period? Did you have all you needed, or did the stress of being with out the proper tools wear you down? Learning good habits which help support you during your period are a must for female athletes. Being prepared is key, but often we don't have a clue what we should be prepared for! Let's talk strategies and tools we can utilize so the day of competition is a little less painful.
Get an app
Make sure you know when your period begins, and if it coincides with a tournament. By getting a period app on your phone, you will be able to track what time of month it comes, record your symptoms, and be better prepared for when it does arrive. Once you start using period apps, you will never go back. Over time, they learn how many days your cycle is, and will begin to predict the exact day your period begins. Learn more about tracking your cycle and the best phone apps to do the job on this LuchaFIT blog post.
Black spandex shorts
I highly recommend wearing or at least having an emergency pair of black spandex shorts to go under your singlet or competition shorts. If it comes to tournament day and you realize that your period is heavy, take the extra precaution and put on an extra layer. We never expect leaks, and they always happen when we are least prepared! Spandex shorts will be very discreet under competition wear, and using a black pair will help minimize stains as you use them on your period over time. The comfort of knowing you have a layer that protects you from leaking during a match is worth the extra effort of remembering a pair of shorts!
A case for your necessities
Sometimes, we don't want everyone to see when we take our period supplies with us to the bathroom. If that's the case, get a non-obvious case or bag that includes your period necessities, as well as extra supplies like underwear, spandex shorts, hand sanitizer, and a travel detergent packet. If you are 100% tampon kind of girl, it is beneficial to also keep panty liners or pads. It can be very difficult to remember to do a bathroom break as often as we should when we are in competition mode. Having panty liners to prevent leaks from getting worse, or as an extra layer if you know you wont be able to change your tampon before a leak happens.
Schedule the Day
If you are someone who forgets how long its been since you've done a bathroom check, have a time schedule for when you will check or change. Make sure you set an alarm on your phone, go each time you've finished a match, or have a teammate remind you at intervals throughout the day. It can be such a challenge to balance the needs you have on competition day, let alone heading to the bathroom for just in case checks.
If an Oops happens
If you can have a second uniform to wear, be sure to always bring that during your period. If thats not the case, bring travel size detergent to scrub the spot out in the sink and put it under the hand dryer in the bathroom. We've all been in dire situations, and sometimes you have to utilize what you have available to you!