Years' experience
Training hours
No taboos No taboos
No taboos No taboos

But first… some basics

In order to clarify what will be discussed later on, it might be of use to precise the workings of the menstrual cycle. Indeed, the whole cycle takes around 28 days and is regulated by the fluctuations of different hormones. The cycle is divided in four stages which are defined by these fluctuations. The first of these four stages is the menstrual phase in which menstruating people have their period.  The follicular phase, during which the body begins to produce estrogen, takes place right after this, followed by the ovulation, when the estrogen level gradually decreases and the metabolism is accelerated. At last, there is the luteal phase, where progesterone level increases constantly until it reaches its peak in the middle of the phase. All of these phases are characterized either by a peak or a low of a given hormone. These changes can impact the body and mind positively or negatively with regards to creative abilities. However, it is important to state here that all menstruated athletes won’t react in the same way and to a different extent to those hormonal changes.

This text is a very brief and compact version of Sarah’s essay


The positive effects on the artistic and creative abilities

The hormonal changes taking place during the first part of the menstrual cycle, i.e. from the middle of the menstruation until the end of ovulation, have a positive influence on creativity and artistic sense. Indeed, the high level of estrogen during the follicular phase not only increases  the production of serotonin, thus improving mood, but it also reduces premenstrual syndromes (PMS). Moreover, the estrogen will lead to a peak of energy, boost the metabolism and motivation of the  athlete-artist in general. Later in the ovulation phase, cognitive functions will also benefit from this hormone. Indeed, the high level of estrogen, leading to the production of serotonin, can induce a better adaptation to social situations, improved interactions with others, as well as better concentration and acquisition of new knowledge. Thus, all these biochemical reactions bring not only physical benefits to the menstruated person but also psychological and cognitive benefits. This set of factors will provide an environment that is more propitious to the artistic and creative sense.

The negative effects on the artistic and creative abilities

During the second part of the cycle, and more precisely from the luteal phase until the beginning of the menstrual phase, the ability to create and motivation in general are negatively affected. The drop of progesterone and estrogen levels just before menstruation can result in emotional discomfort. Indeed, this is known as premenstrual syndrome which is characterised by the following effects : depressed mood, anxiety, anger, lack of interest and difficulty to concentrate. Apart from the difficulty in performing and training, menstruation causes additional stress in athletes-artists as it comes with the fear of staining and the lack of understanding from coaches and sports world in general – thus affecting artistic and creative abilities.


In order to illustrate the argument, here are two representative testimonies from the survey:


"My heart sinks every time I am hired for a show and I see it is at the same time as the first few days of

my cycle because I know how hard I will have to push myself and how uncomfortable it will be. I always

push myself to perform through the pain because I don't want to let my bleeding get in the way of my

passion, but it is always so much harder than when I perform without the extra stress and anxiety of

bleeding. If I am training, I will often take the day to let my body rest, but sometimes as women we don’t

always have that option because people on the business do not always accept that as a valid excuse.”


“(...) In moments of shows I see no big chance how to protect me and my body from what the "world" is

expecting from me in this moment.

"I tend to feel very antisocial, extreme fatigue and heaviness/bloating the week leading up to and during

my period. It makes performing shows a lot more challenging.”


I was lucky enough to be a witness to Sarah's transformation; from a first-year circus student into a professional circus artist. Calm, dedicated and hard working in training... on stage elegant and unstoppable like a force of nature. She is a charming personality with an unbelievable sense of balance.
Piotr Zdanowicz
Head coach and teacher of the circus department of Die Etage


Sarah is always available and motivated for various video and photographic projects. She has many creative ideas that reflect her passion and talent for the circus. It is a pleasure to work with an artist who is full of energy, kind and always smiling.
Régine Lehmann


Sarah has the ability to create real artistic masterpieces. Mix of graceful movements, with the craziness of technical tricks. She transports you into her world with numbers faithful to herself. Mixing humor and sensuality she always keep a poetic touch
Yvon Fragnière
Circus artist


I met Sarah when I created my first show in Switzerland; She is a committed, hardworking and generous artist. She has the sense of the stage, she knows how to let go when it is necessary and knows how to serve and dedicated herself to her work, she is an artisan. She has a strong presence and grace on stage, she is an Edelweiss, elegant, wild and rare. My next show won't happen without her...
Olivier Sabin
Comedian and stage director