Date of Award

Spring 1981

Document Type




First Advisor

Thomas Kelly

Second Advisor

DeeAnna Stalnaker

Third Advisor

Jean Smith


I. Introduction: In 1934 a female "Voice of Experience" gave the following advice to young readers: Girls should not exercise, play tennis or wear high-heeled shoes during their periods; such activity can cause a prolapsed uterus. Girls should wear tight-fitting bloomers during the winter menstrual cycles; otherwise, they are likely to develop a "catarrhal condition" in the delicate vaginal tissue. II. Body. A. Menstruation is a normal biological process within each woman's body. 1. According to Webster's New Collegiate Diction- 9 ary, menstruation has been defined as a "discharging of blood, secretions and tissue debris from the uterus that recurs in nonpregnant breeding-age primate females at approximately monthly intervals and that is considered to represent a readjustment of the uterus to the nonpregnant state following 12 proliferative changes accompanying the preceding ovulation." 2. The early ancient myths about menstruation is widespread through many countries in the world B. The following are the facts about menstruation. ® 1. The average age of a young girl starting menstruation is between twelve and thirteen. 2. At this time of life, twenty-four percent of a girl's body composition is made up of fat. 3. The "normal" number of days of a menstrual cycle is twenty-eight days. 4. Premenstruation occurs between ovulation and the onset of the menses. a. Some of the physical feelings at this time may include weight gain, headaches, acne problems, swelling of the breasts and consti pation. b. The women at this time may also feel depressed, faint, restless, sluggish and crabby. • C. There are many factors which cause irregularities during a woman's period. 1. The strenuous training of athletes can cause them to miss their period on a regular basis if the training is extended for a long period of time.3 2. Excessive amounts of mental pressures such as moving to a new town, a new job or a death in the family can cause the missing of a period. 3. Excessive amounts of physical illnesses can also be a reason for missing a period. • D. The most common disorder of menstruation is dysmenorrhea, or what may be better known as 11 cramps" . 1. Dorland's Pocket Medical Dictionary defines dysmenorrhea as "a painful menstruation". 2. Dysmenorrhea usually occurs in women between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five. 3. The body chemicals related to menstrual cramps is a group called prostaglandins that are produced in the lining of the uterus. E. Is exercise a benefical form of relief for dysmenorrhea? 1. Swimming is a form of exercise which often helps to relieve menstrual cramps. 2. Should restrictions be placed upon any young q girl in athletics during menstruation? III. Conclusion. In conclusion, one may tend to believe that physical exercise will not only help to alleviate the problems of menstruation but also build a stronger and more healthy body.