Vaisberg, M., Berenstein, E., di Bella, Z. J., Scatena, D. A., & Lopes, A. C. (2009). Decreased performance in athletes with perimenstrual syndromes. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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"Despite the great number of women performing sports, there are only few studies about anatomical and psychological hormonal aspects that affect performance. A great part of these studies mention the relation between menstrual cycle and performance, but do not consider perimenstrual alterations. The prevalence of perimenstrual syndromes (PMS) in Brazil varies between 8 and 86%. These percentages enhance the importance of perimenstrual syndromes in the performance of competitive and non-competitive athletes." Female handball players (N = 31) with normal menstrual cycles and non-users of hormones served as Ss. A questionnaire of pre-menstrual symptoms was completed for three consecutive months and a diagnosis was made based upon the total score of six days preceding menstruation and compared to the score of 5-10 days after menstruation. The diagnosis of perimenstrual syndrome was established when the athlete presented four or more symptoms, including one having to do with an altered mood. To evaluate resistance performance, exercises of the abdominal wall muscles and leg muscles were measured.

The prevalence of perimenstrual syndromes was 71%. Athletes with perimenstrual syndromes were less capable of performing resistance exercises during the pre-menstrual period compared to the post-menstrual period. Ss evaluated at two different times showed a decrease in resistance of the abdominal muscles, leg muscles, and arm muscles.

Implication. There is a high prevalence of perimenstrual syndrome in female athletes, which is accompanied by a decrease in the performance of resistance exercises during the pre-menstrual period.

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