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Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esporte

Print version ISSN 1807-5509On-line version ISSN 1981-4690

Abstract

MARTIN, Daniel  and  ELLIOTT-SALE, Kirsty. A perspective on current research investigating the effects of hormonal contraceptives on determinants of female athlete performance. Rev. bras. educ. fís. esporte [online]. 2016, vol.30, n.4, pp.1087-1096. ISSN 1981-4690.  https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-55092016000401087.

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 influence 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 : Oestrogen; Progestin; Exercise; Body composition; Oral contraceptive.

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