Age at menarche and selected menstrual characteristics in athletes at different competitive levels and in different sports

Med Sci Sports. Fall 1978;10(3):218-22.

Abstract

Ages at menarche in 110 non-athletes, 59 high school atjletes, 53 college athletes, and 18 olympic volleyball candidates were determined through interview. The athletes attained menarche significantly later than the non-athletes (p less than .001), and the olympic athletes attained menarche significantly later than the high school and college athletes (p less than .001). The high school and college athletes did not differ significantly in the mean age at menarche. When menarche in college athletes was analyzed by specific sports, the small samples of participants in golf (n = 4), volleyball (n = 7), swimming (n = 7), basketball (n = 16), and gymnastics and track (n = 6) did not differ significantly from each other in the mean age at menarche. The olympic volleyball aspirants attained menarche significantly later than all sport-specific groups (p less than .05 to p less than .001) except the gymnastics-track and tennis (n = 13) athletes. Smaller samples of non-athletes (n = 27) and college athletes (n = 21 from volleyball and basketball), plus the olympic athletes were also interviewed regarding selected menstrual characteristics. Although the athletes reported a greater incidence of dysmenorrhea and menstrual irregularity, none of the chi square values comparing the three groups was significant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Dysmenorrhea / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menarche*
  • Menstruation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Maturation
  • Sports Medicine*
  • Texas