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Sport, exercise and the menstrual cycle: where is the research?
  1. G Bruinvels1,2,3,
  2. R J Burden2,3,4,
  3. A J McGregor5,
  4. K E Ackerman6,
  5. M Dooley7,
  6. T Richards1,
  7. C Pedlar2,6
  1. 1University College London, London, UK
  2. 2St Mary's University, Twickenham, UK
  3. 3ORRECO Ltd, Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland
  4. 4English Institute of Sport, Loughborough, UK
  5. 5Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  6. 6Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7The Poundbury Clinic, Dorchester, Dorset, UK
  1. Correspondence to G Bruinvels, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, 21 University Street, London WC1E 6AU, UK; georgie.bruinvels{at}ucl.ac.uk, @gbruinvels

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Despite a decreasing gender gap in exercise participation, there still remains a significant under-representation of women included in sport and exercise medicine research studies.1 A review of 1382 sport and exercise research studies involving over 6 million participants, from 2011 to 2013, found the representation of women to be 39%.1 The complexities of the menstrual cycle are considered major barriers to the inclusion of women in clinical trials.

Historically, partially due to concerns of potentially damaging unborn fetuses, medical trials—including drug trials—were conducted solely in men. Further, women were perceived …

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