Title

Discriminating hypothalamic oligomenorrhea/amenorrhea from hyperandrogenic oligomenorrhea/amenorrhea in Exercising Women

Department

Health Promotion

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Epub ahead of print.

Publication Date

2019-12-09

Abstract

The mechanism underlying oligo/amenorrhea in exercising women is often presumed as hypothalamic inhibition secondary to energy deficiency; however, hyperandrogenism may provide an alternative mechanism in some exercising women. Our purpose was to compare reproductive, metabolic, and androgen profiles of exercising women with eumenorrheic, ovulatory menstrual cycles (n = 91), oligo/amenorrhea without evidence of hyperandrogenism (Oligo/Amen; n = 83), and oligo/amenorrhea with evidence of hyperandrogenism (Oligo/Amen-HA; n = 17), and determine the prevalence of oligo/amenorrhea with evidence of hyperandrogenism in exercising women. Self-reported menstrual history and quantification of daily estrogen and progesterone urinary metabolites determined reproductive status. Resting energy expenditure, body composition, and metabolic hormone concentrations determined metabolic status. Serum androgens and calculated free androgen index (FAI) determined androgen status. Groups were similar in age (22.4 ± 0.3 years), height (165.1 ± 0.5 cm), resting energy expenditure (1198.4 ± 12.0 kcal/day), and total triiodothyronine (85.0 ± 1.5 ng/dL) concentration. Oligo/Amen-HA had greater weight (60.0 ± 1.6, 56.1 ± 0.7 kg), body mass index (22.3 ± 0.4, 20.6 ± 0.2 kg/m2), percentage body fat (27.3% ± 1.4%, 24.4% ± 0.6%), fat mass (16.2 ± 1.0, 13.8 ± 0.4 kg), insulin (5.8 ± 0.7, 4.2 ± 0.3 μIU/mL), leptin (12.2 ± 2.3, 6.6 ± 0.7 ng/mL), FAI (6.1 ± 0.3, 1.7 ± 0.1), and luteinizing hormone/follicle-stimulating hormone (1.9 ± 0.3, 1.3 ± 0.2) compared with Oligo/Amen, respectively. In our sample, 17% of those with oligo/amenorrhea had concurrent hyperandrogenism. This study supports that oligo/amenorrhea in some exercising women is related to hyperandrogenism.

Keywords

female athlete triad, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hyperandrogenism, menstrual disturbances, energy deficiency, exercising women, amenorrhea

DOI

10.1139/apnm-2019-0640

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