#357: Nicky Keay, MB BChir – Female Athletes: Hormones, Energy Availability & the Menstrual Cycle

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Nicky Keay MB BChir, MRCP

Dr Nicky Keay is a medical doctor (MB BChir, MRCP) with specific training in endocrinology. She has published related to female athlete hormone profiling, energy availability, and relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S).

As a Research Fellow at St Thomas’ Hospital, she was part of the international medical team which developed an anti-doping test for growth hormone.

Dr. Keay studied medicine at Cambridge University, gained membership of the Royal College of Physicians, and trained in endocrinology.

Dr. Keay is currently an Honoray Fellow at Durham Universty in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Overlap between elite dance and elite sport
  • Female hormone profiling
  • How hormone networks drive adaptation
  • Positive and negative effects of a menstrual cycle
  • How menstrual cycle impacts risk of injury and performance
  • Best and worst times in the cycle for performance and recovery
  • Tracking the menstrual cycle – recommendations for practitioners and athletes
  • Impacts of low energy availability (EA)
  • Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S)
  • Implications of hormonal contraception use for assessing low EA
  • Recovery from low EA

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