Menstrual Changes in Body Composition of Female Athletes

Aleksandra Jadwiga Stachoń


The aim of the study was to determine whether the tendencies and scope of changes in body mass, body composition and body girths across the menstrual cycle were similar or different in women of different body build. Anthropometric examinations were carried out in a group of 40 naturally regularly menstruated females practicing team sports (aged 19-21, B-v 169.3+/-6.4 cm, body mass 59.6+/-7.0 kg), in the follicular, periovulatory and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. The phases were determined on the basis of data from two consecutive menstrual cycles taking into account the cycle’s length. To establish the type of body build, Body Mass Index, hydration status and skinfold thickness were measured. For a statistical analysis, a multiple comparisons with multiple confidence intervals were applied. The increase in body mass between the follicular and the luteal phases was observed in all groups of women, the biggest gain was recorded in slim women, who in the luteal phase weighted 0.8 kg more. The amount of fat mass increased significantly across the menstrual cycle only in more hydrated (by about 0.66 kg) and slim women (by about 0.54 kg). Significant changes between consecutive phases of the menstrual cycle in waist and hip girths, and suprailiac skinfold thickness in some groups of women also indicate influence of fatness and hydration status and slenderness. In view of the presented results, the body build seems important for an analysis of the pattern of each component’s changes across the menstrual cycle, especially for female athletes. Certain changes can be seen only in some groups of women, therefore somatic features can be considered as a predictor of the intensity of changes.


body components; body mass; body fat; fatness; hydration; body fluids; body water; BMI; menstrual cycle; female competitors

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