Background: In spite of the presence of menstrual dysfunctions in female student athletes, few studies have been conducted to analyse the reasons and athletic factors affecting them. Regional distribution of fat is one of the important factors that plays a role in causing menstrual disorders, and since menstrual cycle disorders can lead to many problems, the present study was aimed to compare and analyse the menstrual dysfunctions and regional patterns of fat distribution in female student athletes and non-athletes.
Methods: The present study was descriptive analytical which was carried out on 206 female student athletes and non-athletes studying in Shahid Madani University of Azarbaijan selected through convenience sampling in 2013. Subcutaneous fat was measured using calipers and a questionnaire was given to subjects in order to collect their personal and their menstrual cycles’ information. The collected data were analysed by SPSS (version 16) statistical software.
Results: The findings of the study revealed a significant difference between athletes and non-athletes in terms of the incidence of menstrual dysfunctions of amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, menorrhagia, hypomenorhea and hypermenorrhea (p<0.05). Moreover, there was a negative relationship between thigh fat and amenorrhea (p=0.024), suprailiac and menorrhagia (p=0.015), chest and hypomenorhea (p=0.033), and waist circumference and hypermenorhea (p=0.011) in athletes.
Conclusion: Overall, the findings of this study showed that prevalence of menstrual disorders was higher in athletes than non-athletes and low distribution of fat in the lower region of athletes’ body may be disturbed during menstrual periods (amenorrhea) and low distribution of fat in the abdominal and upper parts of body may lead to irregular uterine bleeding (menorrhagia, hypomenorhea and hypermenorhea).
regional fat distribution
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