Study Launched to Investigate How Menstrual Cycles and Contraceptives Impact Performance
The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance has teamed up with the National Rugby League (NRL) Indigenous Women’s Academy and the Australian Catholic University to fill a much-needed gap in research: understanding how menstrual cycles and hormonal contraceptives impact female athletes. The research comes at a time when athletes are increasingly discussing previously taboo topics like menstruation and questioning why there isn’t more funding to address female health and performance.
The landmark project is part of a five-week Female Athlete Research Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, where 12 researchers conducted 10 different studies on the impact of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on athletic performance. This included studies that measured iron status and muscle damage in naturally menstruating and contraceptive users, sleep quantity, changes in strength and joint laxity, as well as the prevalence of pelvic floor health issues and breast pain in female collision sport athletes. Twenty-four women participated in the studies, which took place alongside a training camp for athletes who are hopeful to one day become professional NRL women’s players.
The studies are part of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance’s Female Athlete program based at Boston Children’s Hospital to advance our understanding of female athletes and transform the state of women’s health overall.
Read the news release from the National Rugby League.
Media Coverage: ABC News, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), PSNews
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