Pills, Periods & Performance: Concepts and Controversies in Female Athlete Health

Victoria Felkar

The standard stories in sport medicine and exercise science focus on and reinforce a fractured and inadequate understanding of female athlete health. Furthermore, research has shown that both athletes and coaches alike have limited and often inaccurate information about menstruation, reproductive function, and contraceptives. This talk will aim at shifting the paradigm.Does the menstrual bleed cause reduced performance? Should programming and competition be aligned with a particular phase of the menstrual cycle?How does the oral contraceptive pill impact performance? Are certain forms of contraceptives better than others for athletes? Does being on birth control negatively impact strength and power?Why do female athletes lose their periods, and is this really a big deal? Is the 'female athlete triad' the only reproductive disorder coaches should be aware of?As an interdisciplinary researcher and practitioner, Victoria will tackle these popular concepts and controversies surrounding female athletes, and provide participants with critical knowledge and practical tools to help support and optimize the health and performance of women at all levels of sport and exercise participation.

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