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England Women: The doctor in 'empowering' players to succeed

England Women: The doctor in 'empowering' players to succeed

The FA's approach to female health became more sophisticated three years ago when it began working with an elite sports bioanalytics company, which provides platforms for tracking menstrual cycles through apps.

More than half of the teams in the Women's Super League use the FitrWoman app, allowing players, coaches and medical staff at club and international level to track sessions and tailor training and nutrition accordingly.

“It's trying to understand each individual because it's not one size fits all,” Dr. Mehta explained.

One player had bouts of nausea, and by tracking his cycle for an extended period of time they realized it was linked to a certain time of the month.

“We will never get to zero. It is a natural process for a female – she goes through hormonal changes and this will unfortunately lead to some symptoms that can be impactful.

“We're not going to remove all of that, but can we make it better? Can we make it 1% better, can we make it 10% better?”

Attention is now turning to the health of the pelvic floor, the area of ​​muscles that control the bladder and bowels.

Dr Mehta, who is also Reading's club doctor, believes this may have the greatest impact on female players, with research suggesting that 20% of players in the professional game are affected.

He added: “You hear scattered comments from players about leakage, especially around gym and sporting activities and other issues including pain and discomfort.”

“It's a gap in our understanding at this point but we want to fill that gap.”

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