Experiences of elite female athletes with PCOS and menstrual disorders: Barriers & Facilitators

Project Details


Among athletes, Heather et al., (2021) indicated that 36% (72/202) athletes said their menstrual cycle had a frequent negative impact on performance. Specifically, PCOS affects one in ten women (Williams et al., 2015), and is one of the most common menstrual disorders among elite female professional athletes (Eliakim et al., 2010; Hagmar et al., 2009; Lteif et al., 2015; Rickenlund et al., 2003). The female athlete triad (cf. Stickler et al., 2015) also highlights the psychological impact of PCOS (Kelly & Hecht, 2022). Difficulty to adhere to treatment plans, medication side effects, financial burdens of medical consultations, potential stigmatization are other impacts on the athlete due to PCOS (Chopra et al., 2021; Korsten-Reck, 2011; Weiss & Bulmer 2011). We address this gap and understand the psychosocial experience of PCOS among female athletes with a specific focus on their lived experience during athlete development.

The findings of this project will have two primary implications for athlete development and talent support within the TASS framework. Firstly, it will provide an in-depth, lived experience perspective of female athletes with PCOS to better understand risk factors and stressors experience in the pathway. Second, it will provide literature with strategies in the organizational support provisions and one-on-one support that are in place to gain an insight into effective areas of support.
Effective start/end date1/03/231/12/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being