Chelsea Women have introduced a groundbreaking training programme that tailors to its players' menstrual cycles to help aid performance and reduce injuries.

The Women's Super League outfit have been working on the programme since last August, amending their training and nutrition plans in accordance with the phases of their players' menstrual cycles.

"It is fair to say I am a female coach in an industry where women have always been treated like small men," manager Emma Hayes told The Telegraph's Kate Rowan.

"The application of anything from rehab to strength and conditioning to tactical all come from the basis of what men do.

"The starting point is that we are women and, ultimately, we go through something very different to men on a monthly basis.

"We have to have a better understanding of that because our education failed us at school; we didn't get taught about our reproduction systems. It comes from a place of wanting to know more about ourselves and understanding how we can improve our performance."

Hayes began to consider the impact her players' menstrual cycles were having on performance after he 2016 FA Cup final loss to Arsenal.

With the help of physiologist Dr Georgie Bruinvels, who has advised the players on how to use the FitrWoman app - which helps them to track their menstrual cycle while providing training and nutritional suggestions - the club are now leading the way in this groundbreaking initiative.

"We had a lot of players in and around their period for that (Arsenal) game," she said.

"I remember watching players close the ball down and thinking everything was reactive and second-best. That was the starting point.

"It would be amazing if others started doing this. These players are going to be the first generation of women who are well educated about their menstrual cycle and they will spread that knowledge as far as they possibly can and we hope that becomes a culture within every football club in the world, so everybody can cope better with their menstrual cycles."