Women's mental agility in sport is better during their period

Posted: Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:30

Women's mental agility in sport is better during their period

The study, published in Neuropsychologia, is the first to assess sport-related cognition during the menstrual cycle and is part of a larger research project supported by the FIFA Research Scholarship.

The findings act as a proof-of-principle that specific types of cognition fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, which could have implications for injury and other aspects of women's health.

Previous sports medicine research has shown that women seem to be at greater risk of sport-related injury during the luteal phase, which is the time between ovulation and menstruation. This is possibly related to the significant hormonal changes that occur throughout the menstrual cycle. But precisely how these changes are linked to an increased likelihood of injury are unknown at present.

In this study, researchers at UCL and ISEH collected reaction time and error data from 241 participants who completed a battery of cognitive tests 14 days apart. Participants also completed a mood scale and a symptom questionnaire twice. Period-tracking apps were used to estimate which phase of their cycle the participants were in when they took the tests.

Tags: News, Partner, Public, Women's Sport