Almost half of elite female athletes are hormonal contraceptive users. But do we know the impact they have on performance? Dr. McNulty joins us to shed light on this enigmatic topic in exercise physiology. In this episode of the Science of Getting Faster Podcast, Dr. McNulty outlines our contraceptive options, what these contraceptives are made up of, and how they impact our natural hormonal environment. Ultimately, this episode helps women and their coaches make informed decisions as it relates to their physiology and performance.
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RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE:
The Effects of Oral Contraceptives on Exercise Performance in Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:
- (0:50) Different types of contraceptives available to women
- (9:28) Most commonly used hormonal contraceptive and prevalence in the athletic population
- (10:43) Why do the athletic population
- (14:00) How the oral contraceptive pills impact a women’s natural hormonal environment?
- (19:30) Is the withdrawal bleed that is experienced on the oral contraceptive pill equivalent to natural menstrual bleeding? Why is this important to keep in mind in the athletic population?
- (20:30) Are there risks to chronic down regulation of a women’s own endogenous hormones, via the oral contraceptive pill?
- (21:32) How do our different sex hormones impact exercise physiology?
- (24:58) Is our exercise performance impacted by the phase of the menstrual cycle?
- (31:08) What comparisons were made to determine the impact of Oral Contraceptives on performance?
- (37:05) The results!
- (40:40) What does Dr. McNulty recommend for finding a hormonal birth control that works well for you?
- (46:40) Does the oral contraceptive pill impact strength and endurance performance differently?
- (47:30) What research is missing on female athletes?
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