Menarchy Essay

This essay has a total of 624 words and 3 pages.



Greater emphases on the benefits of exercise have led to a greater participation of women
in sport at all levels. Exercise has been promoted, endorsed and encouraged in the medical
community as a way to reduce stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle. While moderate
exercise does provide valuable benefits, intensive exercise associated with elite female
athletes poses serious health risks to the female body.

The female reproductive system is very intricate and highly sensitive to physiological
stress. This increased stress level is often associated with several reproductive
abnormalities such as delayed menarche, primary and secondary amenorrhea and
oligomenorrhea occurring in 6-79% of women engaged in athletic activity (Warren and
Perlroth 2001). This wide range of percentages is a result of various levels of athletic
discipline and level of competition (Abraham et al. 1982, Glass et al. 1987).

The aforementioned reproductive abnormalities are largely the result of hypothalamic
dysfunction and disturbance of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulse generator.
This suppression of GnRH results in possible infertility and an irreversible decrease in
bone density. The scientific community seems to be split however, on the specific trigger
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