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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1990 Sep;33(3):345-53.

Luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone secretion patterns in female athletes with and without menstrual disturbances.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Division of Psychoneuroendocrinology, München, FR Germany.


Thirty-one young female athletes and 13 age-matched sedentary controls were studied throughout one menstrual cycle or over a 6 week period. Blood was sampled on 5 days per week. Episodic gonadotrophin secretion was measured in the early follicular phase and in the late luteal phase by blood sampling over a 12-h period at 15-min intervals. Eight athletes had anovulatory cycles, nine had impaired progesterone (P4) secretion during the luteal phase and 14 had normal cycles as judged from oestradiol (E2) and P4 plasma levels. Athletes with normal cycles had shorter cycles, lower E2 maxima at midcycle, and lower E2 and P4 concentrations during the luteal phase than had sedentary controls. Episodic luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in the early follicular phase was significantly impaired in the anovulatory athletes: the average LH values over 12 h and the number of secretion episodes were significantly reduced. No significant changes were seen in follicle stimulating hormone secretion.

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