Educating Female Athletes on the Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Contraception Options
There are at least six distinctive hormonal profiles that may occur at key points during the lifecycle of a female athlete. Furthermore, up to 80% of Australian female athletes have used one or more available hormonal contraceptive formulations (>35) for the purpose of birth control, cycle manipulation, and to control menstrual symptoms. Despite the intimate relationship female athletes have with fluctuating hormones, their knowledge surrounding the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive options is poor. Before athletes can make decisions about whether or not to use hormonal contraception, or how to integrate their training and performances with their menstrual cycle, it is imperative that they are provided with basic knowledge about what is a ‘normal’ menstrual cycle and the contraceptive options. Providing information about the barriers to effective conversations and knowledge sharing among athletes, GP’s, coaches and SSSM support staff will also be explored.
The recording is of a webinar presented by ESSA on 8 September 2020.
Presented by Associate Professor Clare Minahan
Clare Minahan is an Associate Professor at Griffith University, Queensland Australia, and has led the Griffith Sports Science group since 2002. Clare’s interests are in the advancement of human performance via exercise training, as well as dietary and environmental interventions. A key focus of Clare’s research is the unique determinants of performance in the female athlete and their distinct physical, metabolic, hormonal, immunological and cognitive responses to exercise and training. The findings of these investigations and their application allows Clare to appreciate the competing requirements of short-/long-term health and performance optimisation in elite athletes. Clare started her family in 2006, easing to a 0.5FTE academic position until 2019. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles (2220 citations) with a h-index of 25 (Google Scholar).
Clare is a Level 2 Sports Scientist (Exercise and Sports Science Australia; ESSA) and a Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association). She is a member of the ESSA Sports Science Advisory Group and is an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Sports & Active Living for the Elite Sports and Performance Enhancement section. Clare has had the pleasure of being a mentor and advisor to a number of post-doctoral fellows and PhD students, and currently supervisors nine post-graduate students embedded in elite-sport environments (e.g., Queensland Academy of Sport, National Rugby League Jillaroos, Swimming Australia, Gold Coast Titans, Gold Coast Suns) which provides Clare with an avenue for vigorous academic research and applied sports science exchange.
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