Florida student athletes asked to report their menstrual history. Here are the questions
All these questions directly relate to athletes’ fitness to play sports and injury prevention.
But for female athletes, other questions on the form can get a little awkward, and now they’re getting controversial over abortion and privacy concerns.
For more than 20 years, the Florida State High School Athletic Association has asked female athletes to answer the following questions on their pre-participation form:
- When was your first menstrual period?
- When was your most recent menstrual period?
- How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to
the start of another?
- How many periods have you had in the last year?
- What was the longest time between periods in the last year?
The questions are marked as optional.
Why questions about athletes’ periods help doctors
Period history is important information for pediatricians to know as they screen for bleeding and hormonal conditions that can cause complications for athletes.
But in Florida, all of that medical data is then turned over to the athlete’s school, contrary to other states that require only the physician’s signature page to clear them to play.
Although the questions are nothing new, athletes, their families, and their doctors are taking a closer look at where this information goes after the overturning of Roe v. Wade this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court.
With reproductive privacy and parental rights over children’s data top of mind, both abortion rights advocates and concerned parents have raised alarms about the questions and and how they can be used.
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