Female Athletes and the Menstrual Cycle in Team Sports: Current State of Play and Considerations for Future Research

Article


Vogel, Kurt, Larsen, Brianna, McLellan, Chris and Bird, Stephen P.. 2024. "Female Athletes and the Menstrual Cycle in Team Sports: Current State of Play and Considerations for Future Research." Sports. 12 (1). https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12010004
Article Title

Female Athletes and the Menstrual Cycle in Team Sports: Current State of Play and Considerations for Future Research

ERA Journal ID211379
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsVogel, Kurt, Larsen, Brianna, McLellan, Chris and Bird, Stephen P.
Journal TitleSports
Journal Citation12 (1)
Article Number4
Number of Pages18
Year2024
PublisherMDPI AG
ISSN2075-4663
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12010004
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/12/1/4
AbstractOver the past ten years there has been a dramatic rise in female sport participation and accompanying female professional national leagues across multiple sports, yet research has not followed suit. Although there are known variations between female and male physiology, training protocols in female sport are predominantly underpinned by research undertaken in male athletes. The hormonal variability experienced by women across the menstrual cycle, as well as the menstrual cycle variability between women, may contribute to the complexity of conducting rigorous physiological studies, leading to a paucity of robust sports-specific research that can be confidently applied to female athletes. Moreover, barriers exist in female sport that potentially limit the ability to conduct research, including the lack of full-time programs and limited resources. Recently, there has been increased interest in the potential effects of fluctuations in the female sex hormones, progesterone and oestrogen, on sport performance across different phases of the menstrual cycle. However, current research evaluating the menstrual cycle and physical performance (such as strength, speed, aerobic fitness, and athletes’ perception of their performance) have shown inconsistent results. Additionally, methodological design across studies has shown little consistency, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions, which potentially prevents female athletes optimising their physical and sporting performance. It further impacts coaches and sports science researchers in their ability to provide appropriate training recommendations and educational opportunities. It is important to progress in female athlete research with an understanding of how the unique physiology of female athletes may influence their ability to physically perform in their respective sport, which requires representation in sports science research. This paper will provide an overview on current evidence and limitations within menstrual cycle research and provide considerations and directions for future research in this space within team sports.
Keywordsfemale athlete; women’s sport; hormones; menstrual cycle
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420702. Exercise physiology
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Health and Medical Sciences
Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club, Australia
Brisbane Tigers Rugby League Club, Australia
Centre for Health Research
Florida Panthers, United States
Basketball New Zealand, New Zealand
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Wilson, Greg, Bird, Stephen P., O'Connor, Donna and Jones, Julian. 2017. Resistance training for children and youth: a position stand from the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) (Original publication 2007, updated March 2017). Helensvale, Queensland, Australia. Australian Strength and Conditioning Association.
Basketball New Zealand guidelines: safe return to training for players in preparation for a condensed National Basketball League season following Covid-19 restrictions
Bird, Stephen P., Osborne, Hamish, King, Leonard, Belles, Lidia, Nolan, Emily and McLellan, Chris. 2020. "Basketball New Zealand guidelines: safe return to training for players in preparation for a condensed National Basketball League season following Covid-19 restrictions." New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine. 47 (1), pp. 49-53.
Basketball New Zealand infographic: return to training 50-30-20-10 rule [for basketball players]
Bird, Stephen and Donaghy, Michael. 2020. Basketball New Zealand infographic: return to training 50-30-20-10 rule [for basketball players]. Wellington, New Zealand. Basketball New Zealand.
Basketball New Zealand infographic: recovery points checklist
Bird, Stephen and Donaghy, Michael. 2020. Basketball New Zealand infographic: recovery points checklist. Wellington, New Zealand. Basketball New Zealand.
Basketball New Zealand infographic: recovery benefits
Bird, Stephen and Donaghy, Michael. 2020. Basketball New Zealand infographic: recovery benefits. Wellington, New Zealand. Basketball New Zealand.
Updated protocol and guest participant results from the ACCeRT clinical study
Rogers, Elaine S., Sasidharan, Rita, Sequeira, Graeme M., Wood, Matthew R., Bird, Stephen P., Keogh, Justin W.L., Arroll, Bruce, Stewart, Joanna and MacLeod, Roderick D.. 2020. "Updated protocol and guest participant results from the ACCeRT clinical study." Journal of Basic Research in Medical Sciences. 7 (1), pp. 10-21.
A multi-targeted treatment approch to cancer cachexia: Auckland's Cancer Cachexia evaluating Resistance Training (ACCeRT) trial
Rogers, Elaine S., Sasidharan, Rita, Sequeira, Graeme M., Wood, Matthew R., Bird, Stephen P., Keogh, Justin W.L., Arroll, Bruce, Stewart, Joanna and MacLeod, Roderick D.. 2020. "A multi-targeted treatment approch to cancer cachexia: Auckland's Cancer Cachexia evaluating Resistance Training (ACCeRT) trial." JCSM Rapid Communications. 3 (1), pp. 11-24. https://doi.org/10.1002/rco2.10
Nutritional knowledge of youth academy athletes
Bird, Stephen P. and Rushton, Benjamin D.. 2020. "Nutritional knowledge of youth academy athletes." BMC Nutrition. 6, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-020-00360-9
Podcasts as an eLearning educational tool
Bird, Stephen P.. 2020. "Podcasts as an eLearning educational tool." University of Southern Queensland 25th Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Group Research Symposium: Uncertain times: Adaptability in the areas of work, study and research. Online 24 Jun 2020
Basketball New Zealand COVID-19 return to training and competition framework: guidelines for safe return to training and competition for coaches and players
King, Leonard, Osborne, Hamish, Bird, Stephen P. and Huyghe, Thomas. 2020. Basketball New Zealand COVID-19 return to training and competition framework: guidelines for safe return to training and competition for coaches and players. Wellington, New Zealand. Basketball New Zealand.
Season suspension and summer extension: Unique opportunity for professional team-sport athletes and support staff during and following the COVID-19 crisis
Huyghe, Thomas G., Bird, Stephen P., Calleja-Gonzalez, Julio and Alcaraz, Pedro E.. 2020. "Season suspension and summer extension: Unique opportunity for professional team-sport athletes and support staff during and following the COVID-19 crisis." Frontiers in Sports and Active Living. 2 (98). https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2020.00098
Welcome to the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association Journal: publishing research with a view to the future
Bird, Stephen P.. 2020. "Welcome to the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association Journal: publishing research with a view to the future." International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. 1 (1).
Bridging the gap: why strength and conditioning practitioners and researchers should collaborate
Langford, Andrew and Bird, Stephen P.. 2020. "Bridging the gap: why strength and conditioning practitioners and researchers should collaborate." International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. 1 (1).
The impact of sleep restriction and simulated physical firefighting work on acute inflammatory stress responses
Wolkow, Alexander, Ferguson, Sally A., Vincent, Grace E., Larsen, Brianna, Aisbett, Brad and Main, Luana C.. 2015. "The impact of sleep restriction and simulated physical firefighting work on acute inflammatory stress responses." PLoS One. 10 (9), pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138128
Task-specific effects of modular body armor
Larsen, Brianna, Netto, Kevin and Aisbett, Brad. 2014. "Task-specific effects of modular body armor." Military Medicine: international journal of AMSUS. 179 (4), pp. 428-434. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00318
Body armor, performance, and physiology during repeated high-intensity work task
Larsen, Brianna, Netto, Kevin, Skovli, Daniel, Vincs, Kim, Vu, Sarah and Aisbett, Brad. 2012. "Body armor, performance, and physiology during repeated high-intensity work task." Military Medicine: international journal of AMSUS. 177 (11), pp. 1308-1315. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-11-00435
The effect of body armor on performance, thermal stress, and exertion: a critical review
Larsen, Brianna, Netto, Kevin and Aisbett, Brad. 2011. "The effect of body armor on performance, thermal stress, and exertion: a critical review." Military Medicine: international journal of AMSUS. 176 (11), pp. 1265-1273. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-10-00470