There has been a pleasing and dramatic rise in the profile and prevalence of female athletes in the push for equality in sport in the 21st century, however equal opportunity for female athletes is not synonymous with the genders being equal and there remains and will always be specific needs unique to the female athlete. These gender differences are hard wired into our DNA and encompass far more than just differences in hormonal profiles and the menstrual cycle.
Female athletes are generally more susceptible to relative energy deficiency in Sport (RED-S) although the term was changed from the Female Athlete Triad in 2014 to recognise that it is a syndrome that also affects men and is not just unique to athletes but can affect others such as recreational exercisers and dancers too. Female athletes may experience more overuse injuries than their male counterparts and may have considerations of training related to their menstrual cycle, family planning, returning to sport after childbirth and facing menopause as an older athlete.
Sport and Exercise Physicians are highly specialised in the unique needs of the female athlete and an early consultation is beneficial if you are a female athlete experiencing any physical, mental or emotional barriers to your participation in regular exercise or competitive sport, are wishing to juggle an athletic career with pregnancy or wanting to return to sport or exercise after childbirth.
Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S)
Benefits of Physical Activity During Pregnancy
Exercise in Early Pregnancy
Maternal Changes During Pregnancy
Recommendations for Exercise During Pregnancy
Returning to Sport After Pregnancy