Improving menstrual health literacy in sport

McGawley, K., Sargent, Debby, Noordhof, D., Badenhorst, Claire, Julian, Ross ORCID: 0000-0002-8558-7132 and Govus, Andrew D (2023) Improving menstrual health literacy in sport. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 26 (7). pp. 351-357. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2023.06.007

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12863 SARGENT Debby (2023) Improving menstrual health literacy in sport article.pdf - Accepted Version
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Menstrual health represents a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being in relation to a woman's menstrual cycle. From a health literacy perspective, knowledge acquisition and expertise are dependent upon the degree to which an individual can find, access, understand, critically analyse, and apply health information. Therefore, menstrual health literacy (MHL) can be used to describe the state of knowledge acquisition and expertise specific to menstrual health-related issues. Menstrual health literacy is low among female athletes, their coaches, and practitioners, and few evidence-informed education or implementation strategies exist to improve MHL in sport. Moreover, athletes seldom discuss their menstrual cycles or hormonal contraceptive (HC) use with their coaches, despite experiencing menstrual symptoms and/or disturbances and perceiving their menstrual cycles/HC use to affect performance. Barriers to communication about menstrual cycle- and HC-related topics include a perceived lack of knowledge among athletes, coaches, and practitioners, concerns about how conversations on these issues will affect interpersonal relationships, and a lack of formal and informal discussion forums. While evidence relating to the effects of menstrual cycle phase and HC use on training and performance is currently limited, with existing studies often lacking methodological rigour, impactful steps can still be made to support female athletes. This cornerstone review highlights the current state of MHL among athletes, coaches, and practitioners, and provides recommendations for improving MHL in sport.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Communication; Education; Health outcome model; Knowledge; Menstrual cycle; Female athlete
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP301.H75 Physiology. Sport
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 08:38
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 14:30

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