Menstrual cycle and athlete performance




Course in replay

The menstrual cycle is an important biological rhythm, whereby large cyclic fluctuations in endogenous sex hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, are observed. The fairly predictable (and measurable) fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone across the menstrual cycle create significantly different transient hormonal profiles, which are used to differentiate between menstrual cycle phases. As such, the menstrual cycle is commonly divided into three phases, (1) the early follicular phase, characterised by low oestrogen and progesterone, (2) the ovulatory phase, characterised by high oestrogen and low progesterone, and (3) the mid-luteal phase, characterised by high oestrogen and progesterone. Although the primary function of these hormones is to support reproduction, research has highlighted that the changing concentrations of oestrogen and progesterone across the menstrual cycle, also exert a myriad of diverse and complex effects on multiple physiological systems, including cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and neuromuscular parameters, which could have subsequent implications for exercise performance. [Source McNuty, Elliott-Sale et al., 2020]

Course outline

  • Brief description of the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle
  • Overview of the research in this area
  • Examination of the research area and future directions and the application of the current data

Within a maximum of 24 business hours following your purchase (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday), you will receive all the necessary information by email to view the course.


  1. Explain the endocrinology and physiology underpinning the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance
  2. Understand the hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle
  3. Understand the findings to date in this research area
  4. Understand how to use the current findings in practice

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