The Matildas play separately across the world. When they come together as a team, their periods sync up.

The Matildas are absolutely dominating the international football scene, and are set to represent Australia proudly at the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup.

Usually, these female athletes are across the globe, representing different teams. But when they come together to prepare to play for the Australia's national women's football team, their menstrual cycles sync up.

"The girls all seem to get in sync with each other in terms of when their cycle is as soon as they come into camp," the national team's physician, Dr Brandi Cole, told Sydney Morning Herald

"It is absolutely crazy. One will come to me for some meds for premenstrual pain and then the next minute half the team’s coming to me. It's a known phenomenon."

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Dr Cole said the players monitor their periods constantly as part of their training regimen. And when they're "out of camp", meaning when they're not playing international competition for the Matildas, their periods then become out of sync with one another. 

"By the time we're in a big camp they're all in sync together... That's the good thing about menstrual cycle monitoring - they're starting to learn about themselves, which empowers our female athletes to get the best out of their bodies."


Mary Fowler is a professional football player who plays for English Women's Super League club Manchester City and also the Matildas. 

Recently she spoke about her experiences with period anxiety. Fowler said that growing up, she often played football on the boy's team, and when she had her period, it would leave her feeling "self conscious".

"Having the experiences that I've had with periods I know that there are many environments that aren’t set up well enough to help deal with athletes that go through menstruation," she said to The Guardian.

"Nowadays if girls are starting out and they're playing in the girl's team I would hope that girls are more comfortable with it and being able to speak to each other about it."


It's a subject that lots of female athletes have spoken about recently. 

Australian tennis player Daria Saville recently highlighted the issue with Wimbledon's longest-standing tradition: 'Wimbledon whites'. 

Since the tournament began in 1887 as a male-only event, Wimbledon has required players to abide by a strict all-white dress code. For many of the players who have periods, they experience a lot of period anxiety, nervous they will bleed through their white shorts. 

"Recently just being at Wimbledon, I was talking with my friend saying that I love the all-white look, but then a few girls said they hate it because it sucks to wear all white while being on your period," she told The Daily Aus.

"It's true, I myself had to skip my period around Wimbledon for the reason that I didn't want to worry about bleeding through. We already have enough stress. Imagine being a swimmer or a dancer... Sometimes it just sucks to be a girl."

Fortunately now, Wimbledon have amended their dress code, so that women can wear whatever colour shorts they like underneath their white tennis outfit.

Olympic swimmer and co-host of Mamamia's Here If You Need podcast Cate Campbell has also spoken about dealing with her period while swimming competitively.

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In 2018, she suffered a near career-ending injury that was directly related to trying to manage her menstrual cycle.


"It actually had a real impact on me. I wanted to look at how I could manage my periods, because I didn't want to race while I was on my period," Campbell explained to on the Here If You Need podcast

"I tried to explore a few contraceptive options and at the time there wasn't really a good sports referral network for females to go down, so I just asked a bunch of swimmers what they were doing and decided to try the contraceptive implant. It's a bar that sits in your inner arm."

Unfortunately for Campbell, it went "horribly wrong".

"That actually gave me permanent nerve damage down the right side of my arm. On the nerve I have strange sensations in my hand and palm because the bar was not inserted correctly," she explained.

"When we then tried to move the bar, it wasn't doing what it was supposed to do and the GP dug around and hit my nerve so much that I now have a permanent strange feeling."

Given the upper body is pivotal to a swimmer's success, the damage caused by the improperly implanted contraceptive bar could have ended her swimming career.

Reflecting on the impact and barriers many women face, Campbell said: "It's so important to talk about female health and the things we have to go through and how that impacts us. Fortunately, this [stigma] is changing – but there is still a long way to go."

Feature Image: Getty.

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