Parading around an Olympic ice rink with the entire world watching is stressful enough on its own - but doing your thing in a skimpy costume while you're on your period takes
balls an extra brave set of ovaries.
[poll id='5602bce2-d9d8-4ed9-aef9-2b4a2fe7b463_0' type='text' question='Do you get anxiety about period leakage while playing sports?' answer1='ALWAYS.' answer2='Nah, NBD for me.'][/poll]
Luckily, Team USA figure skater Mirai Nagasu didn't have to deal with her monthly flow during this year's Winter Games - although it was a close call. "I had my period on the way to the Games," says the 24-year-old.
That's not to say she's never hit the ice during that particular point of her cycle. "It's really not that big of a deal. You just stick a tampon up there," she says, adding that exercising on the ice during her period tends to be therapeutic. "Periods can induce cramps for me, which I find exercise helps [alleviate]."
She likens cramps to an elite athlete's muscle soreness - both suck, but you get used to them. (After all, what's the alternative?!)
Mirai adds that she's not much of a leaker, which lets her focus more on nailing her triple axels than worrying about bleeding through her skating outfits. "Panty liners are super helpful if you just want to protect your underwear," she says.
And although it's never happened to her, Mirai acknowledges that the risk of leaking is ever-present - but not to let it get to you: "You just have to pretend like it never happened."
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