Exercise and reproductive dysfunction

Eileen C. Chen, Robert G. Brzyski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To provide an overview of our current understanding of exercise-induced reproductive dysfunction and an approach to its evaluation and management. Design: A MEDLINE search was performed to review all articles with title words related to menstrual dysfunction, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, exercise, and athletic activities from 1966 to 1998. The pathophysiology, proposed mechanisms, clinical manifestations, evaluation, and management of exercise-associated reproductive dysfunction were compiled. Conclusion(s): Exercise-induced menstrual irregularity appears to be multifactorial in origin and remains a diagnosis of exclusion. The underlying mechanisms are mainly speculative. Clinical manifestations range from luteal phase deficiency to anovulation, amenorrhea, and even delayed menarche. Evaluation should include a thorough history and a complete physical plus pelvic examination. Most cases are reversible with dietary and exercise modifications. Hormonal replacement in cases of a prolonged hypoestrogenic state with evidence of increased bone loss is recommended, although the long- term consequences of prolonged hormonal deficiency are ill-defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Athletes
  • Exercise
  • Menstrual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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