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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effects of the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives on athletic performance Lebrun, Constance Marie Therese


There have been few well-controlled studies to date on the influence of different phases of the menstrual cycle on athletic performance, and information is even more sparse on potential effects of oral contraceptive agents (OCAs) on performance. Many of the earlier studies failed to accurately document the phase of the cycle, or used a variety of different oral contraceptives with higher dosages of estrogens and progestins than those in current usage. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the endogenous hormonal variations of a normal menstrual cycle and the administration of a low-dose triphasic oral contraceptive agent (OCA)on selected measures of athletic performance in a group of elite female athletes. Nineteen eumenorrheic women were studied during the midfollicular (day 5.7 ± 0.5; mean + SE) and midluteal (day 23.3 ± 0.9) phases of a normal menstrual cycle. Cycle phases were confirmed by plasma estradiol and progesterone assays. Following the two menstrual cycle tests, subjects were randomly assigned in a double blind fashion to either a placebo group (n=7, age=28.3 + 1.6 yr, height=168.6 ± 2.0 cm, weight=60.0 ± 3.5 kg) or an OCA group (n=7, age=27.1 ± 1.6 yr, height=168.5 ± 1.9 cm, weight=60.2 ± 1.7 kg). A third test was carried out during the midcycle (day 14.4 ± 0.54) of the second cycle of the placebo/OCA administration. . . . [more text]

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