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How Female Hormone Mapping Helped A Competitive Athlete Manage Menopause

Author: Forth

December 1, 2022

Female health

Katie murray

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Anita Howe describes herself as a competitive athlete who wants to perform at her best. She has used our advanced female hormone blood test, MyFORM® to help identify perimenopause.

Anita regularly takes part in Triathlons and is always striving to get the best out of her performance. As she’s getting older Anita is keen to work with her body, so when she began experiencing what she thought were symptoms of perimenopause she wanted a better understanding of what was going on with her hormone health.

Competitive Sport & Perimenopause

As women enter their early 40s, they are likely to start experiencing symptoms of perimenopause –this is the phase women go through prior to reaching menopause.

Perimenopause happens when oestrogen levels begin to decline as the ovaries become less responsive to the two control hormones FSH and LH. These changing oestrogen levels cause the many symptoms of perimenopause from fatigue to brain fog, irregular periods, and increased anxiety.

All these hormone changes can have a big impact on a woman’s quality of life, as Anita explains ‘I was finding that I was taking longer to recover from my training, feeling tired and getting forgetful.’

For women athletes, it’s crucial to adapt training as well as other lifestyle factors such as nutrition to help support hormone health during perimenopause.

In particular, cardiovascular health and bone health are important as oestrogen levels decline. Oestrogen is somewhat of a power hormone and reduces the risk of women suffering cardiovascular disease and keeps bones healthy. But as levels decline, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis increases.

How MyFORM® Has Helped

As Anita explains ‘I am a competitive athlete and want to compete for as long as I can and to the best of my ability making sure my body can cope. I wanted to take the MyFORM® test to see if I was perimenopausal.
’MyFORM® uses artificial intelligence, combined with blood analysis and clinical expertise to map all 4 female hormones across an entire menstrual cycle. These 4 hormones are the two control hormones FSH, LH, and the two ovarian hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone.
As women get older, their levels of oestrogen and progesterone begin to decline and their levels of FSH and LH increase.
By mapping these four hormones across an entire menstrual cycle and combining it with symptoms can provide confirmation of perimenopause.

In addition, MyFORM® provides an ovarian responsiveness score out of 100, with a healthy woman of reproductive age having a score of 75 or above. As women get older and their ovaries become less responsive this score will drop. This provides further evidence of perimenopause and can also indicate how far off a woman is from menopause.

As Anita explains, ‘MyFORM® has given me greater insights into my hormones and how they are fluctuating across my menstrual cycle. It breaks your results down into fine detail, so you get much deeper insights. This has helped me correlate my symptoms with my hormone fluctuations which have indicated I am perimenopausal.’
By understanding her hormone fluctuations combined with clinical expertise has helped Anita also identify the need for an iron test as this could also be contributing to her symptoms of low energy and fatigue.
‘Having that deep insight into all 4 of my hormones, along with my ovarian responsiveness score has enabled me to put new strategies into place. This includes changing my training load and the types of foods I eat to match with my menstrual cycle, as well as putting in longer-term strategies to support my heart and bone health.’ says Anita.

Read Next: ‘What Is Female Hormone Mapping?>>

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This information has been medically reviewed by Dr Nicky Keay

Nicola has extensive clinical and research experience in the fields of endocrinology and sport and exercise medicine. Nicky is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, Honorary Fellow in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University and former Research Fellow at St. Thomas' Hospital.

Dr Nicky Keay

Dr Nicky Keay

BA, MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, MRCP.