Few days back, my friend (female) skipped workout for the reason being menstruation. I (male) didn't have much opinion about her working out during that period.
Now my question is, can a female carry on with their normal workout during menstruation, whatever the level of fitness they are at?

  • Please don't close the question but comment below, in case you need more elaboration. Useful edits are welcome.
    – Freakyuser
    Oct 18, 2013 at 15:48
  • It has not been closed, no reason to discuss this yet. And if at all, Physical Fitness Meta would be the appropriate place.
    – Baarn
    Oct 21, 2013 at 21:25
  • Was the "period" pun intentional? :)
    – Josh
    Jan 23, 2014 at 15:05

3 Answers 3


There are several things that affect a woman during this time, but as pertains to working out or training you can expect:

  • Greater fatigue
  • Greater discomfort even at rest
  • Fear of bleeding through clothes

These are all very real problems, and it affects women to differing degrees. Some that I've trained with are very affected and others are seemingly slightly affected.

For someone who is affected, there are some things they can do:

  • Take complete rest (as your friend did)
  • Take a deload and work at half the intensity and volume they normally do
  • Don't do anything that requires bracing the core, perhaps running or using the elliptical might work.
  • Don't make any changes but don't be surprised if they can't do what they normally can do.

The choice really is up to the person exercising. Sometimes the person can feel better after exercise, and sometimes worse. Be understanding, and if they tell you it's enough, respect that.

  • Thank you very much for answering. Do you consider closing this question as off-topic 'due to medical advice'? I will respect your comment, whatsoever it is going to be.
    – Freakyuser
    Oct 18, 2013 at 18:50
  • 3
    No. It's a very real challenge, but the only reason to see a doctor about is if it's abnormal. Oct 18, 2013 at 21:29
  • 1
    Also, your friend needs to be aware of nutritional requirements during this time. Increased iron, folate, calcium, zinc and iodine being primary among these.
    – JohnP
    Oct 19, 2013 at 1:12

While I don't want to make my answer anything pertaining medical, I just want to mention that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It is a disorder which makes our hormonal system very sensitive to lifestyle choices like diet, exercises, etc.

Personally, I can workout during periods with no issues at all. I also hear the same from many fellow cysters. Some women (also normal women) find exercising during menstruation helps relieve cramps while some find exercising increases pain, cramps, bleeding,fatigue etc.

Just as Berin mentioned above, if a woman isn't feeling at her best while on periods, she can decide best how much exercise is too much for her.

So in my understanding, it is a very individual thing and not related to fitness level for most part.

I hope you find the info you are looking for...


There is no reason why your friend couldn't work out during her time of the month - indeed if the advertising industry is to be believed this is the ideal time for her to go horse-riding or trampolining, preferably in a pristine white jumpsuit.

However even though she CAN train, she may not feel comfortable training due to cramps, pain, bloating, fatigue and/or general discomfort.

I personally have found that the fitter I get the less my cycle affects me, and I will happily train through the whole month with no problem at all.

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