Monitoring the Menstrual Cycle in Sport: Experiences and perceptions of the menstrual cycle to facilitate sports performace in athletes
You are invited to take part in this study, please read the information below before deciding if you would like to take part.
What is the purpose of the study?
The menstrual cycle begins at puberty for the majority of females and involves two main reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, fluctuating in a cyclical nature over the course of a female's reproductive years. These hormonal changes are known to influence a number of physiological systems in addition to potential psychological changes. These changes have the potential to impact sporting performance, recovery, and general well-being in various phases of the menstrual cycle and though there is evidence to support this, research suggests any impact is individual which makes it hard to create guidelines to apply to the entire population.
Given the individual nature of the menstrual cycle, there is opportunity for individuals to monitor their own cycle to draw their own conclusions over how their cycle may affect them and commercially available wearable devices (e.g. Fitbit, Garmin) make monitoring the cycle easier than ever. However there is little research on how helpful and equally, valid, these devices are so gaining an understanding on athletes' views and practices of device use can help practitioners tailor their advice to athletes.
This study aims to build an understanding of current monitoring practices of athletes and how it may inform their sports training.
Why we have asked you to take part?
We are inviting you to take part as you train for a specific sport and are a female who is of a reproductive age.
We welcome you to take part if you are:
- female (sex assigned/observed at birth)
- aged 16 or older
- Participate in a sport
What will taking part involve?
Completing an online questionnaire which should take around 10 minutes of your time.
What are the possible risks of taking part?
There are minimal risks to taking part in this questionnaire. There is a very small chance some of the questions may make you feel uncomfortable however there is no obligation to complete the questionnaire and you are able to stop completing the questionnaire at any point.
What are the possible benefits of taking part?
The information you provide will help identify ways of improving menstrual cycle monitoring and performance in sport. This study is part of a larger project and will help inform the next study which will explore wearable monitoring devices in more depth. In addition to presenting any results at conferences, a summary of results will be offered for those participants interested, which may be beneficial to apply to training.
How will my information be kept safe and secure?
The current Data Protection Act 2018 guidelines (details below) will be followed. All information about you will be confidential and anonymous and stored within a secure, encrypted folder on the Birmingham City University OneDrive, in line with Birmingham City University (BCU) Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences (HELS) standard operating procedures. You will be identifiable by a code number which you will create so your data is not recognisable, but is identifiable if you wish to withdraw from the study. Upon completion of the study, anonymised data will be encrypted and securely stored until completion of the project, at which point the data will be destroyed.
Where can you find out more about how your information is used?
You can find out more about how we use your information by asking one of the research team or contacting the data protection officer (see below for information*).
What will happen if you don’t want to carry on with the study?
Taking part in this study is voluntary and there is no obligation to complete and submit the questionnaire. You are free to withdraw once you have submitted your questionnaire as you will have created your own personally identifiable code and your data will be destroyed from the dataset. However, once the analysis completion date (14/04/23) has been reached (when data has been fully anonymised and processed) data will be unable to be withdrawn.
What will happen to the results of the study?
They will be used in reports, academic journal publications and presentations about the study. Your name will not be used in any report or publications.
Who has reviewed the study?
This study has been reviewed and given favourable opinion by BCU’s HELS Research Ethics Committee.
What if there is a problem, or I have any further questions?
In the first instance, please contact the lead researcher (email@example.com ). You can also contact the project supervisors (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org) or the HELS ethics Committee: HELS_Ethics@bcu.ac.uk.
What to do if you want to take part?
You will be asked to complete an online informed consent form on the next page of this web form. This will confirm you understand how your data will be processed, protected and reviewed for research purposes.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet
*Additional Information about data protection and your rights:
Birmingham City University (‘BCU’) is the sponsor for this study based in the United Kingdom. We will be using your information in order to undertake this study and will act as the data controller for this study. This means that BCU is responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. To safeguard your rights, we will use the smallest amount of personally-identifiable information possible. Individuals from BCU may look at your information for audit purposes. For more information about how BCU processes personal data for research, please see the University Privacy Statement, available here: https://www.bcu.ac.uk/about-us/corporate-information/policies-and-procedures/privacy-notices/research-participants
If you have any concerns about how your personal data is stored, please contact the BCU’s Data Protection Officer: E: email@example.com T: 0121 331 5288