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Are young female athletes at risk of amenorrhoea? analysis of body composition, nutritional and endocrine factors
  1. K Lagowska,
  2. J Jeszka
  1. Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poznan, Poland


Background Specific type and amount of high intensity training in athletes especially beginning before puberty, reduced body weight and lower percentage of fat mass have been put forward as potential factors responsible for female athlete triad.

Objective Estimation risk of amenorrhoea in female athletes with menstrual irregularity basis of results of body composition, nutritional and endocrine factors.

Patients 58 athletes with menstrual irregularity aged 18.0 ± 2.2 years participated in the study.

Design The nutritional status was evaluated based on the analysis of body composition using the bioelectrical impedance analysis method – percentage of adipose tissue (FM), fat free mass. Nutritional value was estimated by dietary records for seven consecutive days. Moreover, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (E), progesterone (P) and serum leptin levels were measured.

Results The first group included athletes from endurance disciplines emergency department (ED) while the other comprised female from weight category (WC) disciplines. Second classification was also used. In the first group athletes with LH/FSH <0.6, diagnosed as a insufficiency of hypothalamus pituitary IH were included, while the other included female with LH/FSH>0.6, diagnosed as a good results (GR). In case of hormones significant differences between groups with different disciplines in level of LH (ED: 4.0 ± 2.5 mlU/ml, WC: 5.6 ± 2.4.mlU/ml, p<0.05) and FSH (ED: 4.8 ± 1.8 mlU/ml, WC: 6.3 ± 1.5 mlU/ml, p<0.05) were found. What is more, IH athletes has significantly lower LH level compared with GR athletes (IH: 2.9 ± 1.0 mlU/ml, GR: 6.0 ± 2.6 mlU/ml, p<0.05). FSH, LH, LH/FSH and leptin levels was positively correlated with energy and most of nutrients intake.

Conclusion Diets of athletes with menstrual disorders were not properly balanced. Furthermore, athletes were characterised by low fat mass, low leptin level and inadequate relationship between level of gonadotrophins. Those factors can intensify menstrual disorders and lead to amenorrhoea.

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