Table 1

Topic areas and key content covered in athlete interviews with example questions

Topic areaContentExample questions
Related medical recordsPoint of contact (if any) for gynaecological issues, check-up/investigation history, check-up regularity, iron status and supplementation. Do you have a family practitioner, gynaecologist or someone else you can speak to about menstrual cycle-related issues? Who would be your preference?
Hormonal contraceptive historyCurrent hormonal contraceptive used (if any), contraceptive type/name, duration of use, reason for use, side effects experienced, previous contraceptive history (contraceptive type/name, duration of use, reason for change). Are you currently using any hormonal contraceptive, and if so why did you start on this?
Menstrual cycle statusAge at menarche, initial regularity of cycle, cycle irregularity (previous or current), current frequency of cycle*, current menses duration, menstrual bleeding heaviness.
*If infrequent: family history (age of menarche and historical cycle regularity, current regularity, frequency and duration of mother's menstrual cycle) and training history (training development—type, frequency, duration and intensity) if menstrual cycle disturbance suspected.
Have you ever had an irregular cycle? If so, can you think of any reason that may have led to this?
Sanitary protectionSanitary protection type, changes of sanitary protection, double sanitary protection required, prone to blood clots, prone to flooding, impact on daily life, training or competition. Do you or have you ever had to use double sanitary protection, for example, a towel and a tampon at the same time?
Symptoms and discomfortsSymptoms type (physical and psychological), duration of symptoms, medication used and effectiveness, symptoms during ovulation, impact of symptoms on performance, record keeping of hormonal changes and performance impacts. Do you feel that your symptoms have an impact on any aspect of your daily life, training or competition performance? If so, how?