Vol 92, No 5 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-03-10

open access

Page views 1562
Article views/downloads 1198
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Past physical activity and its influence on female functioning during perimenopause

Katarzyna Szuscik-Niewiadomy1, Ryszard Plinta1, Pawel Niewiadomy2, Andrzej Knapik1
Pubmed: 33751508
Ginekol Pol 2021;92(5):352-358.


Objectives: The objective of the study was to assess correlations between practising sports at an elite level at a young age, and the current physical activity level, selected sociometric features and the severity of menopausal symptoms in women during perimenopause, which will contribute to the knowledge about undertaking sports activity.
Material and methods: The study involved a total of 334 females aged 45–65. They were purposefully assigned to both a study and control group. The study group included 148 women — former elite athletes qualified based on the presumed criteria. The control group consisted of 154 women who did not meet the criterion of practising sports activity earlier in life. In order to conduct the study, we applied the method of a diagnostic survey. The outcome measure was a survey questionnaire and contained questions concerning sociometric features, some elements of gynaecological history, and physical activity undertaken in the past. The second part used the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Blatt-Kupperman Menopausal Index.
Results: The groups were homogenous in terms of age and BMI. The former athletes most frequently used to practise athletics, team games and swimming. Both groups displayed no differences regarding the age at menarche, the onset of sexual activity, and the presence and regularity of menstruation. The former athletes had fewer children compared to the controls. They manifested a higher level of physical activity in particular areas and intensity categories. The comparison between the two groups did not show statistically significant differences in the severity of menopausal symptoms.
Conclusions: Sports training in the past differentiates selected sociometric features such as economic activity and a numerous pregnancies and births. Sports training in the past has an impact on the current level of physical activity — the females who used to train present its higher level. Sports training in the past does not differentiate the severity of menopausal symptoms.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Stetkiewicz T. Badania nad menopauzą w latach 90-tych. WHO 1996. Instytut Medycyny Pracy im.Prof J Nofera, Łódź 2001.
  2. Paszkowski T. Postępy w medycynie menopauzy. IZT, Lublin 2009.
  3. WHO. Quality of life assessment: Position paper from the World health organization. Soc Sci Med. 1995; 41(10): 1403–1409.
  4. Stepaniak U, Szafraniec K, Kubinova R, et al. Age at natural menopause in three central and eastern European urban populations: the HAPIEE study. Maturitas. 2013; 75(1): 87–93.
  5. Skałba P. Endokrynologia ginekologiczna. PZWL, Warszawa 2008.
  6. Mędraś M, Jóźków P. Aktywność fizyczna a oś podwzgórze ― przysadka ― jajniki ― endokrynologiczne aspekty zespołu triady sportsmenek. In: Mędraś M. ed. Endokrynologia wysiłku fizycznego sportowców z zarysem endokrynologii ogólnej. Medpharm Polska, Wrocław 2010: 136–147.
  7. Torstveit MK, Sundgot-Borgen J. The female athlete triad exists in both elite athletes and controls. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37(9): 1449–1459.
  8. Nattiv A, Agostini R, Drinkwater B, et al. The female athlete triad: disordered eating, amenorrhea, osteoporosis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993; 25(7): 775–777.
  9. Kaczmarek M. The timing of natural menopause in Poland and associated factors. Maturitas. 2007; 57(2): 139–153.
  10. Ortiz AP, Harlow SD, Sowers M, et al. Age at natural menopause and factors associated with menopause state among Puerto Rican women aged 40-59 years, living in Puerto Rico. Menopause. 2006; 13(1): 116–124.
  11. Parazzini F. Determinants of age at menopause in Italy: results from a large cross-sectional study. Maturitas. 2007; 56: 280–287.
  12. Nagel G, Altenburg HP, Nieters A, et al. Reproductive and dietary determinants of the age at menopause in EPIC-Heidelberg. Maturitas. 2005; 52(3-4): 337–347.
  13. McTiernan A, Tworoger S, Ulrich C. Effect of exercise on serum estrogens in postmenopausal women: a 12-month randomized clinical trial. Cancer Res. 2004; 64(8): 2923–2928.
  14. Dąbrowska J, Naworska B, Dąbrowska-Galas M, et al. The role of physical activity in menopause. Menopausal Review. 2012; 6: 445–448.
  15. Friedenreich CM, Neilson HK, Wang Q, et al. Effects of exercise dose on endogenous estrogens in postmenopausal women: a randomized trial. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(5): 863–876.
  16. Caspersen CJ, Powell KE, Christenson GM. Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Rep. 1985; 100(2): 126–131.
  17. The IPAQ Group. Guidelines for Data Processing and Analysis of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) ― Short and Long Forms. 2005. http://www.ipaq.ki.se.
  18. Biernat E, Stupnicki R, Gajewski A. International Physical Activity Questionarie (IPAQ) ― Polish version. Wych fiz i Sport. 2007; 1: 47–54.
  19. Alder E. The Blatt-Kupperman menopausal index: a critique. Maturitas. 1998; 29(1): 19–24.
  20. Skierska E. Age at menarche and prevalence of oligo/amenorrhea in top Polish athletes. Am J Hum Biol. 1998; 10(4): 511–517, doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6300(1998)10:4<511::AID-AJHB11>3.0.CO;2-B.
  21. Malina RM, Rogol AD, Cumming SP, et al. Biological maturation of youth athletes: assessment and implications. Br J Sports Med. 2015; 49(13): 852–859.
  22. Myburgh GK, Cumming SP, Silva MC, et al. Maturity-associated variation in functional characteristics of elite youth tennis players. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2016; 28(4): 542–552.
  23. Matina RM, Rogol AD. Sport training and the growth and pubertal maturation of young athletes. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2011; 9(1): 441–455.
  24. Bacchi E, Spiazzi G, Zendrini G, et al. Low body weight and menstrual dysfunction are common findings in both elite and amateur ballet dancers. J Endocrinol Invest. 2013; 36(5): 343–346.
  25. Doyle-Lucas AF, Akers JD, Davy BM. Energetic efficiency, menstrual irregularity, and bone mineral density in elite professional female ballet dancers. J Dance Med Sci. 2010; 14(4): 146–154.
  26. Malina R. Secular trends in growth, maturation and physical performance: A review. Anthropol Rev. 2004(67): 3–31.
  27. Czajkowska M, Drosdzol-Cop A, Gałązka I, et al. Menstrual Cycle and the Prevalence of Premenstrual Syndrome/Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder in Adolescent Athletes. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2015; 28(6): 492–498.
  28. Rice SM, Purcell R, De Silva S, et al. The Mental Health of Elite Athletes: A Narrative Systematic Review. Sports Med. 2016; 46(9): 1333–1353.
  29. Giannone ZA, Haney CJ, Kealy D, et al. Athletic identity and psychiatric symptoms following retirement from varsity sports. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2017; 63(7): 598–601.
  30. Martínez-Pascual B, Alvarez-Harris S, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, et al. Pregnancy in Spanish elite sportswomen: A qualitative study. Women Health. 2016; 20: 1–15.
  31. Hodgkinson EL, Smith DM, Wittkowski A. Women's experiences of their pregnancy and postpartum body image: a systematic review and meta-synthesis. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2014; 14: 330.
  32. Serra M, McMillin S, Ryan A. Aging in women athletes. In: Zaslav KR, McMillin S, Ryan A. ed. An international perspective on topics in sports medicine and sports injury. IntechOpen Limited, London 2012: 3318–4253.