International Journal of Exercise Science 10(8): 1235-1249, 2017. The purpose of this investigation was to utilize several different technologies to compare body composition results across two phases of the menstrual cycle, and to investigate whether being on hormonal birth control or not has any effect on results. The secondary purpose was to determine if body satisfaction or perception of fluid retention differed across phases or between groups. A total of 39 females with a mean age of 26 ± 7 yrs were included in the study, 15 were on hormonal birth control (BC) and 24 were not (non-BC). Participants came into the lab for two trials: once while menstruating and another during the estimated pre-ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle. Demographic and body satisfaction questionnaires were completed prior to body composition testing. This testing included dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, BOD POD®, and three separate bioelectrical impedance analyses. Participants completed the body satisfaction questionnaire and all body composition tests on each trial. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were found between body fat percentage or total body water estimates taken during menses and pre-ovulation for the BC or non-BC group. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in overall body satisfaction across the two phases for the non-BC group, though the BC group had significantly lower body satisfaction during menses (P < 0.01). Participants in both groups identified feeling more bloated during menses (P < 0.001). Results suggest that menses should not affect the reliability of body composition estimates regardless of whether or not females are on hormonal BC.
Hicks, Courtenay S.; McLester, Cherilyn N.; Esmat, Tiffany A.; and McLester, John R.
"A Comparison of Body Composition Across Two Phases of the Menstrual Cycle Utilizing Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, Air Displacement Plethysmography, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
8, Pages 2135 - 2149.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss8/13