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January 21, 1983

Weight Lifting and Amenorrhea

Author Affiliations

The Oregon Health Sciences University Portland

JAMA. 1983;249(3):354. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330270024022

To the Editor.—  Exercise-associated amenorrhea (EAA) has been associated with the endurance activities of distance running,1 ballet,2 and competitive swimming.3 We want to add our findings regarding weight training to this list.All female participants at the Pacific Northwest Body Building Competition were surveyed as to their menstrual history, other sport participation, and drug use. Their height, weight, and skin-fold thickness were measured.Thirty-three percent of the women (6/18) not taking oral contraceptives had oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea, one third of whom had consulted a physician for this problem. The percent of body fat was low in all women (18%), but no difference was found between those women with regular and irregular menses. Amenorrheic women did not participate excessively in other forms of exercise, and, unlike surveys of runners,1 prior pregnancy did not protect them from EAA. No female competitors used anabolic steroids.Exercise-induced amenorrhea has been