Prevalence of hormonal contraceptive use and reported side effects of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use in powerlifting and rugby

Nolan, D., Elliott-Sale, K.J. ORCID: 0000-0003-1122-5099 and Egan, B., 2022. Prevalence of hormonal contraceptive use and reported side effects of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use in powerlifting and rugby. The Physician and Sportsmedicine. ISSN 0091-3847

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of hormonal contraceptive (HC) use and the associated symptomology of use or non-use are under-studied in athletic populations, and in particular, in strength and collision sports. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of hormonal contraceptive use and reported side effects of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use in powerlifters and rugby players.

METHODS: Competitive female powerlifters and rugby players (aged ≥18 y), representing a strength and a collision sport respectively, completed an anonymous online questionnaire for the purpose of assessing self-reported prevalence of HC use, and symptoms of the menstrual cycle and HC use. Athletes were categorized by sport (powerlifters, n=149; rugby players, n=135) in order to conduct a stratified analysis. For open-ended questions, a content analysis was conducted to categorize responses, and frequency analyses were performed.

RESULTS: Current HC use was reported by 51.1% of athletes, with similar prevalence for the two sports (powerlifting, 48.3% vs. rugby, 54.1%, P=0.34). Side effects of the menstrual cycle were reported in 83.5% of non-HC users, with the most common being unspecified cramping (42.4%), headache/migraine (24.5%), and fatigue (24.5%). Side effects were reported in 40.0% of HC users, with the most common being mood changes (17.9%), stomach pain (8.3%) and headaches/migraines (6.9%).

CONCLUSION: A large proportion of HC users and non-users in this study experience negative side effects of HC use and the menstrual cycle, respectively. The symptoms experienced by both groups are wide-ranging, with a high degree of variation between individuals. The negative side-effects experienced by HC users and non-users may have an influence on athletic performance, and this requires future investigation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: The Physician and Sportsmedicine
Creators: Nolan, D., Elliott-Sale, K.J. and Egan, B.
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Date: 6 January 2022
ISSN: 0091-3847
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/00913847.2021.2024774DOI
1525813Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 21 Apr 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 09:30
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46148

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