Menstruation: Has sport's 'last taboo' been broken?

Published 1029 GMT (1829 HKT) February 6, 2015
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British number one tennis player, Heather Watson, lost her first round of the Australian Open last month after complaining of felling "light-headed." She put her poor performance down to "girl things," sparking a global debate about menstruation in sport Clive Bunskill/Getty Images/File
"It just was one of those days for me. I felt very light-headed and low on energy - you know it's a shame that it's today. With the way I as feeling... um it didn't do me any favors today ... the last couple days I felt fine. I think it's just one of these things that I have, girl things. It just, yeah, happens," Watson told the BBC in a post-match interview. Robert Prezioso/Getty Images/File
"It came out really innocently and she in no way wanted to blame the defeat on it, it's just one of those things that women have to deal with. And that's the thing. This is what women deal with on a monthly basis and I think it's almost impossible to say they are not affected by it in some way," said former British number one tennis player Annabel Croft (pictured). Clive Bunskill/Getty Images/File
Every woman is different and menstruation needn't be the deciding factor on the playing field. British runner Paula Radcliffe told the BBC​ she had her period when she broke the world record at the Chicago Marathon in 2002 (pictured). Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/File
Britain's hockey team take a different approach to menstruation, taking it into consideration during training. Player Hannah Macleod (pictured center) told the BBC that team members would email their period cycle dates to their coach -- who would then tailor exercise accordingly. Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images/File
It sometimes feels as though nothing is out of bounds when discussing the physical and mental conditions of elite athletes. Argentine footballer Javier Mascherano (left) didn't bat an eyelid as he told reporters he'd torn his anus in a goal-saving stretch during last year's World Cup. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/File
And English cricketer Michael Yardy flew home early from an international tour in 2011, revealing to the media he was suffering depression. Jan Kruger/Getty Images/File