Effect of menstrual cycle and contraceptive pill phase on aspects of exercise physiology and athletic performance in female athletes: protocol for the Feminae international multisite innovative project

BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2023 Nov 24;9(4):e001814. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2023-001814. eCollection 2023.


The idiom 'more high-quality research is needed' has become the slogan for sport and exercise physiology-based research in female athletes. However, in most instances, it is challenging to address this gap of high-quality research in elite female athletes at a single study site due to challenges in recruiting enough participants with numerous menstrual cycle and contraceptive pill permutations. Accordingly, we have assembled an international multisite team to undertake an innovative project for female athletes, which investigates the effects of changes in endogenous and exogenous oestrogen and progesterone/progestins across the menstrual cycle and in response to second-generation combined monophasic contraceptive pill use, on aspects of exercise physiology and athletic performance. This project will employ the current gold-standard methodologies in this area, resulting in an adequately powered dataset. This protocol paper describes the consortium-based approach we will undertake during this study.

Keywords: Female; Performance; Physiology.