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October 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 7)

The key to a regular menstrual cycle
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

The key to a regular menstrual cycle image

Just eating an extra 300 to 400 extra calories every day could be all it takes to re-establish a regular menstrual cycle, say researchers—and that could be especially the case for women who do intense exercise.

Women who don't eat enough to support their exercise regime can trigger a medical condition known as Female Athlete Triad, say researchers from Penn State University, which includes menstrual disorders and poor bone health. Women with the problem are more likely to suffer fractures.

In a year-long study involving 62 young women who exercised regularly and suffered irregular menstrual cycles, the researchers increased the number of calories that half of them ate, while the rest maintained their existing diets. The women who ate the extra calories were twice as likely to see their menstrual cycle normalize during the 12 months.

As researcher Mary Jane De Souza said, just eating a little more each day could be all it takes to remedy menstrual disorders and without needing to take powerful prescription medication with its potential for serious side effects.

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(Source: Proceedings of the Endocrine Society annual meeting, March 31, 2020)

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