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Female athlete research camp: A unique research approach

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Studying the menstrual cycle and its impact on performance is a challenging task. There are many more variables to take into account than when studying performance in males. Is the person using hormonal contraception? If so, what kind? What phase of the menstrual cycle is the person in when symptoms appeared?

One innovative strategy to address this challenge is a research camp. Alannah McKay from the Australian Catholic University and colleagues organized a research study around a 5-week residential training camp for Australian First National female Rugby League athletes. The approach provided a unique opportunity to monitor each participant across their menstrual cycle in a way that was both experimentally rigorous and reflective of the real world.

A recent publication in Medicine & Science in Sports & Medicine highlights their findings. They characterize the menstrual cycle function, hormonal profiles, and symptoms of the study’s 24 participants and also describe the unique research protocol used to collect the data.

This work is part of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Read the publication

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