Recent research in Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, assessed a group of female high school track athletes, and their knowledge of menstrual health and bone loss. Researchers investigated a sample of 103 females, who completed a questionnaire regarding health, menstrual history, athletic and sports participation, knowledge of bone loss and menstrual status, and amenorrhea.
Researchers found that 6.7% of the females studied met the criteria for amenorrhea and 16.7% met the criteria for oligomenorrhea. An astounding 90% of females indicated incorrect answers about bone loss, amenorrhea, and menstrual dysfunction.
The dangerous cycle of menstrual dysfunction and pervasive health conditions are becoming more prevalent among female athletes today. Education is key in the prevention and treatment of menstrual health based conditions. Coaches, parents, and medical professionals should educate athletes about nutrition, rest and recovery, healthy weight management, energy levels, and bone health. Female athletes, regardless of sport, should be educated regarding the importance of a healthy menstrual cycle and it’s impact on bone health and long term bone loss.