Sport, exercise and the menstrual cycle: where is the research?

  title={Sport, exercise and the menstrual cycle: where is the research?},
  author={Georgie Bruinvels and Richard J. Burden and Alex McGregor and Kathryn E. Ackerman and Michael Dooley and Toby Richards and Charles R. Pedlar},
  journal={British Journal of Sports Medicine},
  pages={487 - 488}
Despite a decreasing gender gap in exercise participation, there still remains a significant under-representation of women included in sport and exercise medicine research studies.1 A review of 1382 sport and exercise research studies involving over 6 million participants, from 2011 to 2013, found the representation of women to be 39%.1 The complexities of the menstrual cycle are considered major barriers to the inclusion of women in clinical trials. Historically, partially due to concerns of… Expand

Topics from this paper

Use of the Menstrual Cycle to Enhance Female Sports Performance and Decrease Sports-Related Injury.
  • C. Oleka
  • Medicine
  • Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology
  • 2019
Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology has a place in this emerging interest area, given the level of expertise in menstruation, female physiology and the often-avoided female pubertal physiology, Georgie Bruinvels states. Expand
Impact of Nutrition-Based Interventions on Athletic Performance during Menstrual Cycle Phases: A Review
A focused critical review of clinical studies that reported athletic outcomes as well as menstrual status for healthy eumenorrheic female participants found that hydration-, micronutrient-, and phytochemical-based interventions can improve athletic performance or attenuate exercise-induced damage. Expand
Elite female athletes’ experiences and perceptions of the menstrual cycle on training and sport performance
The findings highlight the need to educate elite athletes and coaches on the menstrual cycle, considering it in the same light as other physiological functions in sport to improve health, well‐being, and performance. Expand
Understanding the effects of the menstrual cycle on training and performance in elite athletes: A preliminary study.
The study found that physiological performance was significantly better during the menses phase (MP) compared to the proliferative and secretory phases (PSP) and oral contraceptive users showed a greater performance change from MP to PSP suggesting that oral contraceptives may be detrimental to performance in some athletes. Expand
Methodological Approach of the Iron and Muscular Damage: Female Metabolism and Menstrual Cycle during Exercise Project (IronFEMME Study)
The IronFEMME Study was designed to increase the knowledge regarding the influence of sex hormones on some aspects of the exercise-related female physiology, and iron metabolism and exercise-induced muscle damage will be studied considering the different reproductive status present throughout well-trained females’ lifespan. Expand
Women’s health in sport: The prevalence and impact of heavy menstrual bleeding and iron deficiency
HMB is a risk factor for ID, physiological and psychological function decrements in exercising women and serum ferritin as a biomarker for ID and its associated normative data should be re-evaluated to avoid false positive ID diagnosis. Expand
Resistance Training and Skeletal Muscle Protein Metabolism in Eumenorrheic Females: Implications for Researchers and Practitioners
An overview of the current research regarding resistance training performance and skeletal muscle adaptation in females, with a focus on the hormonal variables that may influence resistance training outcomes suggests that the menstrual cycle phase may impact strength, but not skeletal muscle protein metabolism. Expand
The Effects of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Elite Athlete Performance: A Critical and Systematic Review
Different sports performance-related parameters are affected during the menstrual cycle among elite athletes, but the parameters themselves and the magnitude and the direction of the effects are inconclusive, prompting additional longitudinal and prospective studies to systematically monitor on-field performance parameters. Expand
Dysmenorrhea and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding in Elite Female Athletes: Quality of Life and Perceived Stress
Athletes had a significantly higher incidence of irregular periods and heavy menstrual bleeding and an increased incidence of HMB should be considered in elite athletes with increased PSS and impaired QoL. Expand
The effects of menstrual cycle phase on physical performance in female soccer players
The results of this study are in support of a reduction in maximal endurance performance during the mid LP of the menstrual cycle, however, the same effect was not observed for jumping and sprint performance. Expand


The Effect of the Menstrual Cycle on Exercise Metabolism
The metabolic perturbations induced by the ovarian hormones are examined and, by detailed comparison, reasons for many of the inconsistent reports in menstrual phase comparative research are proposed. Expand
The Prevalence and Impact of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia) in Elite and Non-Elite Athletes
HMB is highly prevalent in exercising females, associated with self-reported anemia, increased use of iron supplementation and a perceived negative impact on performance, and is prevalent amongst elite athletes. Expand
Where are all the female participants in Sports and Exercise Medicine research?
Sport and Exercise Medicine practitioners should be cognisant of sexual dimorphism and gender disparity in the current literature, according to original research articles published over a three-year period. Expand
Do Women Have More Adverse Drug Reactions?
  • M. Rademaker
  • Medicine
  • American journal of clinical dermatology
  • 2001
It is important to be aware that gender is a significant factor in ADRs, as increasingly the evidence is that idiosyncratic drug reactions, particularly cutaneous reactions, appear to have an immunological etiology. Expand
Sex differences in the physiology of exercise: an integrative perspective
  • A. Sheel
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Experimental physiology
  • 2016
Video slideshow introduction to the Symposium by Symposium Speaker A. William Sheel can be found here.