IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 15854: The Impact of Competitive Swimming on Menstrual Cycle Disorders and Subsequent Sports Injuries as Related to the Female Athlete Triad and on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: An athlete’s menstrual cycle may be seriously disturbed when she undertakes a physical activity that exceeds the body’s adaptive capacity and/or applies dietary restrictions. The main aim of this study was to assess the impact of swimming training undertaken by participants of sport clubs on disorders of the menstrual cycle. Methods: The study involved 64 female athletes. The questionnaire utilized in this study was composed by the authors, however some of the questions were based on Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q). Results: 31.26% of swimmers reported that the menstrual cycle was stopped for more than 3 months, of which 21.88% had a menstrual absence for more than 6 months and 9.38% between 3 months and 6 months. Years of training were a positive predictor of the ‘more profuse bleeding’. There was a negative correlation between the disorders of the menstrual cycle, the body weight of the female participants (p < 0.05) and the body mass index (p < 0.01). It was found that with the severity of the degree of disorder in the menstrual cycle, the number of injuries among the surveyed swimmers increased (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The correct body weight of the participants was a positive predictor of the absence of the menstrual cycle disorders among the majority of women practicing swimming. Disorders in the menstrual cycle occurring in a certain percentage of the swimmers positively correlated with the number of injuries recorded among these swimmers. Swimming has been shown to alleviate some of the premenstrual symptoms.