Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Female athlete triad is a mix of:
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
The triad happens when the amount of calories eaten is much lower than amount used by the body. This decreases a hormone called estrogen. This causes periods to change. It also makes it hard for the bones to absorb calcium. This causes them to weaken.
This problem is more common in competitive athletes. Other things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You will also be asked about your medicines, diet, periods, and exercise routine. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
The goals of treatment are to gain weight and resume normal periods. Treatment will be based on specific needs. More than one of the following may be needed:
The risk of this problem may be lowered by:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Female athlete triad. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/female-athlete-triad. Accessed February 3, 2021.
Female athlete triad. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/female-athlete-triad.html. Accessed February 3, 2021.
Female athlete triad: problems caused by extreme exercise and dieting. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00342. Accessed February 3, 2021.
Raj MA, Creech JA, et al. (2020). Female Athlete Triad. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
Weiss Kelly AK, Hecht S, COUNCIL ON SPORTS MEDICINE AND FITNESS. The Female Athlete Triad. Pediatrics. 2016 Aug;138(2):e20160922
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN Last Updated: 2/3/2021