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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 48

of 'Anterior cruciate ligament injury'

The effects of oral contraceptive use on muscle stiffness across the menstrual cycle.
Bell DR, Blackburn JT, Ondrak KS, Hackney AC, Hudson JD, Norcross MF, Padua DA
Clin J Sport Med. 2011;21(6):467.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of oral contraceptives (OC) on hamstring neuromechanics and lower extremity stiffness across the menstrual cycle (MC).
DESIGN: Causal comparative.
SETTING: Research laboratory.
PARTICIPANTS: Thirty, healthy, normally menstruating female volunteers who were using OC (OC group, n = 15) or not (non-OC group, n = 15).
ASSESSMENT OF RISK FACTORS: Stiffness and hamstring neuromechanics were assessed at 2 points of the MC corresponding to low (menses) and high (ovulation) hormone concentrations. Menses testing took place 3 to 5 days after the onset of menses (or pills 3-5 for the OC group). Ovulation test session occurred 2 to 4 days after ovulation identified using a commercial ovulation kit (or pills 15-17 in the OC group).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Lower extremity stiffness and hamstring neuromechanics [stiffness, electromechanical delay, rate of force production (RFP), time to 50% peak force (T50%)]and blood plasma concentrations of estradiol-β-17, free testosterone, and progesterone.
RESULTS: Estradiol-β-17, free testosterone, and progesterone increased at ovulation in the non-OC group and remained constant in the OC group. No changes were observed across the MC or between the groups in other variables (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Although previous literature suggests a prophylactic effect of OC use with respect to musculoskeletal injury risk, our results indicate that OC use does not affect muscle properties in manners thought to reduce ACL injury risk.
Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA. drbell2@wisc.edu