A perspective on current research investigating the effects of hormonal contraceptives on determinants of female athlete performance

Martin, Daniel and Elliott-Sale, Kirsty (2016) A perspective on current research investigating the effects of hormonal contraceptives on determinants of female athlete performance. Revista Brasileria de Educacao Fisica e Esporte, 30 (4). ISSN 1807-5509

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Abstract

Hormonal contraceptives are used by approximately half of female athletes and may affect athletic
performance as a result of their action on the endogenous hormonal milieu. In athletes, hormonal
contraceptive use appears to have little effect on body composition, however further studies are needed
assessing progestin-only contraceptives as they may have a negative effect in the general population.
The type of progestin contained within the contraceptive may infl uence the anabolic response of muscle
to loading although this relationship is complex as it may be due to either direct or indirect effects of
exogenous hormones on protein synthesis and satellite cell proliferation. The altered hormonal milieu in
hormonal contraceptive users has predominately been shown to have no effect on muscle strength and
whilst maximal oxygen uptake is sometimes reduced, this does not translate into measures of performance.
The majority of previous research has used cross-sectional designs and/or grouped together different
types and brands of hormonal contraceptives and little research has been conducted on progestin-only
contraceptives in athletes. Future research should use prospective, randomised-controlled designs to
assess the effects of all types of hormonal contraceptives on athletic performance in females.

Keywords:female athlete, hormonal contraceptive, exercise performance
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:29807
Deposited On:29 Nov 2017 14:48

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