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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1997 Aug;7(4):226-8.

Pregnancy in endurance athletes.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine pregnancy and delivery among Finnish endurance athletes at the national top level. A questionnaire concerning first pregnancy was sent to 30 Finnish endurance athletes who had been at national top level in cross-country skiing, running, speed-skating or orienteering. Data on labour were collected retrospectively through a questionnaire and from the diaries in the hospital concerned. The next primipara in the diaries formed a member of the control group. Twenty-three athletes (77%) had regular menstrual cycles, seven (23%) had irregularities, and four of them had received hormonal treatment for this. Seven athletes (23%) had experienced spontaneous abortion during the first trimester in previous pregnancy. Sixteen (53%) did not notice any change in their exercise performance, three (10%) subjectively felt themselves to be in a better physical condition, and seven (23%) felt themselves to be in a worse condition than before the pregnancy. Four did not respond on the question. After delivery, 18 athletes continued to compete, the median interval being 8.2 months (range 2-24 months). Two of them (11%) achieved a better condition than before the pregnancy, 11 (61%) reached the same level and five (28%) did not achieve the same performance level. There were no significant differences in labour parameters between the athletes and controls. Endurance training had no harmful side-effects on the pregnancies or deliveries of the athletes. The effect of pregnancy on exercise performance is individual.

PMID:
9241028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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