Menstruation and Climbing: Navigating the Challenges

Are you a female climbing enthusiast navigating the difficulties of your menstrual cycle? As fellow climbers, we understand how challenging this can be – after all, approximately half the female population experiences menstruation.

This blog provides practical suggestions to manage any physical discomfort and mental challenges while climbing during your period. Let’s embark on this climb together and turn these monthly obstacles into stepping stones!

How Menstruation Can Affect Climbing Performance

Menstruation can have a significant impact on climbing performance due to physical discomforts, mental challenges, and the potential for decreased energy levels.

Physical discomforts

Menstrual discomfort can be a real challenge when it comes to climbing. It’s not just about the mid-section cramps, but also headaches, bloating, and sore breasts that many of us experience during our cycle.

These physical symptoms might make holding onto grips or lifting your bodyweight more difficult than usual. Climbing harnesses may also exacerbate pain and discomfort in the abdominal region due to menstruation.

Moreover, using sport tampons or menstrual cups designed for active bodies is beneficial as they provide comfort while engaging in intense physical activities like rock climbing. We recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as Motrin or Ibuprofen, which aid with dealing with cramps effectively so we can focus on our climb without hassle! The key is listening to your body and taking necessary precautions during these challenging days—this way we navigate through the physical discomforts caused by menstruation while climbing.

Mental challenges

One aspect of menstruation that can significantly affect climbing performance is the mental challenges it presents. Many women experience emotional fluctuations and mood swings during their menstrual cycle, which can impact their focus and confidence while climbing.

It’s important to acknowledge and navigate these mental challenges in order to perform at your best on the wall.

During certain phases of the menstrual cycle, hormonal changes can lead to increased anxiety or feelings of self-doubt. This can make it more difficult to push through fear or take risks while climbing, leading to decreased performance.

It’s essential to practice mindfulness and self-compassion during these times, reminding yourself that these emotions are temporary and not reflective of your abilities as a climber.

Tracking your menstrual cycle can help you anticipate when you may be facing more significant mental challenges due to hormone fluctuations. By being aware of these patterns, you can adjust your training schedule accordingly or engage in activities like yoga or meditation that promote relaxation and positive mindset.

Additionally, communicating with your climbing partner about what you’re experiencing emotionally during menstruation can provide them with insight into how they might support you on the wall.

Impact on energy levels

During menstruation, our energy levels can fluctuate due to hormonal changes in the body. Many women experience fatigue and a decrease in stamina during their period, which can make climbing feel more challenging.

This is because our bodies are working harder to shed the uterine lining, leading to lower energy reserves for physical activities like climbing. It’s important to listen to your body during this time and not push yourself too hard if you’re feeling low on energy.

Take breaks when needed and pace yourself during climbs to conserve energy. Additionally, fueling your body with nutritious foods can help boost your energy levels and support overall performance while navigating the challenges of menstruation and climbing.

Tips for Navigating Climbing Challenges During Menstruation

Communicate openly with your climbing partner about your menstruation and any challenges you may be facing.

Communicate with your climbing partner

Effective communication with your climbing partner is crucial when navigating the challenges of menstruation while climbing. By discussing your menstrual cycle and any potential discomfort or changes in your performance, you can create a supportive environment where both of you understand each other’s needs.

This open dialogue allows for planning climbs during times when physical discomfort may be at its lowest and energy levels are higher. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for your partner to offer support or help modify climbs if needed.

Remember, open and honest communication between climbing partners is key to ensuring a positive and successful experience on the rock.

Practice falling

As amateur rock climbers, it’s important for us to be prepared for any situation that may arise while climbing, including falling. During menstruation, practicing falling becomes even more crucial as our bodies may be experiencing physical discomfort and changes in energy levels.

By regularly practicing falling during our training sessions, we can build confidence and familiarity with the sensation, making it easier to navigate any challenges that may come up while climbing on our period.

Additionally, understanding how to fall properly and safely can help minimize the risk of injury during this time when our bodies may be feeling more sensitive. So let’s make sure to include practice falls in our training routine and equip ourselves with the skills needed to climb confidently and safely during menstruation.

Practice mindfulness and self-compassion.

As amateur rock climbers, it’s important to not only focus on physical training but also on our mental well-being during menstruation. Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion can help alleviate any mental challenges that may arise during this time.

By being present in the moment and acknowledging our thoughts and emotions without judgment, we can better navigate any anxieties or fears that may come up while climbing. Taking the time to check in with ourselves and show kindness towards ourselves can go a long way in helping us push through any discomfort or obstacles we may face during our period.

Remember, it’s normal and natural, so let’s be kind to ourselves as we conquer the challenges of menstruation while pursuing our passion for climbing.


In conclusion, menstruation can present challenges for female climbers, both physically and mentally. Understanding the impact of the menstrual cycle on climbing performance is important in order to navigate these challenges effectively.

By communicating with climbing partners, practicing falling, and cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion, women can overcome the obstacles posed by menstruation and continue to enjoy their passion for climbing.


1. How can menstruation affect climbing performance?

Menstruation can potentially impact climbing performance due to factors such as fluctuating hormone levels, discomfort or pain, and fatigue. It is important for climbers to listen to their bodies and make adjustments accordingly during this time.

2. Are there any tips for managing menstrual symptoms while climbing?

Some tips for managing menstrual symptoms while climbing include using menstrual products that offer comfort and protection, staying hydrated, taking breaks when needed, utilizing pain relief methods such as heat packs or over-the-counter medication (if appropriate), and planning climbs around the timing of your cycle if possible.

3. Can I still climb during my period?

Yes, it is possible to continue climbing during your period. However, it is essential to prioritize your comfort and safety. Assess how you feel physically and emotionally before deciding whether or not to engage in strenuous activities like climbing.

4. Are there any special considerations for hygiene while climbing on your period?

Maintaining proper hygiene while climbing on your period is important for both comfort and health reasons. Consider wearing breathable clothing, bringing extra supplies such as wipes or tissues for cleanup, properly disposing of used products in designated bins or bags, and washing hands thoroughly after changing menstrual products.

Calvin Rivers

Hey, I’m Calvin Rivers, a climbing veteran with 10+ years on crags and walls around the world. I can’t wait for you to explore our site and fall in love with the outdoors just like I have.

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