Female Athlete Health

Female Athlete Health

The female athlete performance group at the sportscotland Institute of Sport has developed a new resource on Brightspace, aimed at anyone working with female athletes at any level in sport.

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Talk, Track, Manage


  • Speak openly with your coaches and support staff about your menstrual cycle.
  • Discuss whether training modifications would help during your menstrual cycle, although not every athlete will need to modify training.
  • Ensure the relevant staff are aware of any painkiller use during your menstrual cycle.


  • Establish what a normal cycle is for you – need to have 3-6 month data alongside performance data e.g. training hours per week
  • Know your own menstrual cycle – dates of bleeding, length of menses, the severity of symptoms. Everyone is an individual, and it’s important to understand how your body responds.
  • Keep a record of your training (e.g. Hours, Distance, Number of Sessions per week) and how you are feeling throughout your cycle.

How to Track: Apps such as Clue & Period Tracker Lite may be useful but be careful of any apps that offer generic advice. Pen and paper may work best for you.


  • After tracking for 4-5 cycles, if you have any concerns then speak to your coaches and support staff.
  • Establish whether modifications need to be made to your training. For example, your coach may be able to plan intense training phases around when you feel your best.

RED-S Fact Sheet

What is RED-S?

RED-S stands for Relative Energy Deficiency In Sport. It is described as “Impaired physiological function including, but not limited to, metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health caused by relative energy deficiency”

It is when the energy we take in through fuel doesn’t match the energy we expend through activity, and therefore the energy our bodies have available to maintain organs/cells, our temperature, our immune function, growth and reproduction.

Energy Availability = Energy In – Energy Out

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