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‘Wish I can be a man’: China’s Qinwen Zheng as menstrual cramps crash her French Open dream

Chinese tennis player Qinwen Zheng’s French Open bid ended unexpectedly as severe menstrual cramps and a leg injury — for which she took a medical timeout in the second set — lead to her losing to world no 1, Poland’s Iga Swiatek. Zheng, 19, had everyone awaiting a shock win as she claimed the opener in a tiebreak before slipping to a 6-7, 6-0 and 6-2 defeat.

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According to CNN, she had no pain during the opening set but took a medical time out at 3-0 down in the second to strap her injured right leg.

“Yeah, the leg was also tough. That compared to the stomach was easy…I cannot play my tennis, (my) stomach was too painful,” Zheng, ranked 74 in the world, told reporters, after the game.

China’s Qinwen Zheng during her fourth round match against Poland’s Iga Swiatek (Source: Reuters)

Referring to her menstrual pain, she added, “It’s just girls’ things, you know. The first day is always so tough and then I have to do sport and I always have so much pain in the first day. And I couldn’t go against my nature.”

ALSO READ | Know all about first period, self-care tips

“I wish I can be a man on court, but I cannot in that moment…I really wish I can be (a) man (so) that I don’t have to suffer from this.”

Adding that she enjoyed playing against Swiatek, Zheng said, “If I don’t have my stomach (pain) I think I could enjoy more, like to run better and to hit harder, to give more effort on court. It’s a pity that I couldn’t give what I want to give today. I just want (it so that) next time I play against her, I (am in) perfect shape.”

According to Dr Archana Sukumaran, Ayurveda Doctor (BAMS), Kerala Ayurveda Ltd, “Painful menstruation or cramps is medically known as dysmenorrhea, peaking during the first two days of menstruation. It may be associated with nausea, vomiting, backache, indigestion, and disturbed sleep.”

To prevent menstrual cramps, the expert suggested the following tips.

*Don’t compromise on your sleep.*Use heating pads for better relief.*Drink plenty of water.*Reduce sodium intake.*Avoid drinking too much caffeine.*Control food cravings.*Avoid using scented products down there.*Have warm, well-cooked food.

Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, too, had shared dietary tips for women on their periods. Take a look.

She suggested eating the following food items.

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*A week before your periods, start your day with soaked raisins and saffron.*Include a legume (sprouted and cooked) every other day in your meals.*Have tuber vegetables like suran, sweet potato, etc, at least twice a week.*Take a calcium supplement (calcium citrate) every night before bed.

ALSO READ | Mistakes to avoid, tips to follow for a clean period

Earlier, Canadian comedian and YouTuber Lilly Singh had opened up about period pain, bringing the common health issue faced by many women into focus.

“My period has always been painful. In school, it was the reason I missed so many classes. And even though with age the symptoms have chilled out a bit, it’s still quite unpleasant,” she had written, sharing a picture of herself sitting on a bed, using a heating pad to ease the cramps.

Also ReadWhat happens to the body if you eat yoghurt every day?What happens to the body if you eat dried fruits every day?What happens to the body when you give up milk for a month?Peeled vs unpeeled apple: Which is better for your health?

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