period census strong women

RED-S census: tackling the gap between fitness and hormonal health

Posted by for Wellbeing

Take Strong Women’s survey to help us create the largest study to date on how exercise impacts women’s period health. 

Periods can have a profound impact on our wellbeing. They affect our energy levels, moods, injury rate, and food cravings. But when they go AWOL, we feel broken, and that’s especially the case when we’re seemingly the picture of health – fit, strong and active.

The issue is, many of us simply aren’t getting the help we need. From our very rudimentary investigations, fit women who have lost their periods are being prescribed the pill when reporting amenorrhea and/or been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Fitness regimes, nutrition and stress are three key hormonal elements that are rarely – if ever – discussed with GPs.

We’ve previously explored the link between stress, excessive exercise and amenorrhea (a phenomenon called RED-S, or relative energy deficiency in sport) and now, we want to gather the largest data set on the subject to date. That’ll enable us to see how far-reaching the issue really is among the ‘normal’ female population (ie, women with regular jobs as opposed to professional athletes). It may not come as a surprise to learn that no such study or data exists on the topic already.

As such, Stylist has created the Exercise and Period Health Survey, where we invite you to tell us about how your period has been impacted by your fitness regime.

With just 3% of fitness research being done on women, and nothing out there already examining what diet culture and the whole ‘go hard or go home’ mantra has done to women’s health, we’ve got a real opportunity to change the way in which GPs and PTs treat menstrual issues.

Please take our survey, share it among other women and help us to better platform an issue that could well affect thousands of people. 

Share the survey link with your friends, family and followers – and tag us on Instagram (@StrongWomenUK)

Images: Getty

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Miranda Larbi

Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.