Practice does not make perfect: A brief view of athletes’ knowledge on the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives

Larsen, Brianna and Morris, Kirstin and Quinn, Karlee and Osborne, Mark and Minahan, Clare (2020) Practice does not make perfect: A brief view of athletes’ knowledge on the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23 (8). pp. 690-694. ISSN 1440-2440


Abstract

Objectives
To assess the knowledge of Australian elite female athletes surrounding the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives.

Design
Cross sectional survey.

Methods
Australian female athletes (n = 189) representing their state and/or country in their respective sport completed a questionnaire comprising questions (multiple choice and short answer) relating to the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives. A knowledge ‘score’ was calculated by allocating one point for each correct answer; the highest knowledge score that could be achieved was 14. Linear regression analysis was used to identify variables that were independently associated with menstrual cycle and oral contraceptive knowledge.

Results
Almost half (47.1 %) of the athletes surveyed were currently using hormonal contraception, the majority (75.3 %) of which used an oral contraceptive pill. Nevertheless, the mean knowledge score achieved by athletes on the questionnaire was 5.03 ± 3.06, with only 8.5 % of athletes achieving a knowledge score of 10 or above. Hormonal contraceptive use and ‘identifying as an individual athlete’ were two factors that were significantly associated with overall knowledge score (p ≤ 0.004), with current hormonal contraceptive users and individual athletes scoring 1.79 and 1.66 points on average higher than non-users and team sport athletes, respectively.

Conclusions
Our findings indicate that knowledge surrounding the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives was low in most elite athletes. Further education is warranted to enable athletes to make informed decisions regarding hormonal contraception, and any educational interventions should be implemented across all athlete groups.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 05:00
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 02:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elite athletes, Hormonal contraceptives, Contraception, Education
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110604 Sports Medicine
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320225 Sports medicine
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Women's Health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2020.02.003
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39567

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