The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Hormonal Contraceptives

This article originally appeared on Triathlete

"Female athletes are often neglected in exercise physiological research." This phrase, or some variation of it, is something you read often when trying to get a clear understanding of how something like birth control affects triathletes.

The lack of information is especially frustrating when you consider that approximately half of athletes who menstruate are using a hormonal contraceptive. In a political climate that is increasing restrictions around reproductive health care, it is even more imperative that people who menstruate are given clear information about how different birth control methods could affect their bodies.

But there’s the rub: female athletes are often neglected in exercise physiological research. Though the field is growing, definitive scientific evidence on how hormonal contraceptives affect runners, triathletes, and other endurance athletes is a work in progress. Get ready for a lot of "mays" and "mights" and "potentiallys" as we ask the experts to break down how hormonal birth control affects endurance athletes.

RELATED: The Gender Gap in Sport Research is Holding Female Endurance Athletes Back

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