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Menstruation increases risk of injury in women soccer players

Soccer is the largest women’s team sport in Sweden, with more than 56,000 players above the age of 15. Worldwide some 40 million women in more than 100 countries play soccer today.

It is well known that there are injuries involved in soccer, but it is less well known that both the geographic region of the player and the level she plays at can be tied to the frequency of injury. Moreover, women soccer players run a greater risk of being injured during menstruation.

No one is surprised that players can be injured in soccer, but there are also other factors other than the sport itself that impact the rate of injury. These are the issue Inger Jacobson at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden addresses in her doctoral dissertation Injuries among Female Football Players.

The aim of her research work was to determine whether there are any differences in the frequency of injury across regions and across levels, how the limberness of joints and muscles at the start of the season might affect coming injuries, and whether and, if so, how the fact that women menstruate and in some cases take contraceptive pills impacts their soccer playing and the risk of injury.

“My research shows that the rate of injury can be associated with regional factors and the level of playing, and that the rate of injury increases in connection with menstruation. On the other hand, there is no indication that contractive pills increase the risk of injury,” says Inger Jacobson.

Inger Jacobson’s studies are based on an investigation of 30 women’s soccer teams in Sweden’s top two leagues. A total of 446 injuries were studied in a single soccer season.

Lena Edenbrink | alfa
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