Oral Contraceptives Do Not Affect Muscle Strength and Hop Performance in Active Women

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Objective:The primary aim of this study was to compare muscle strength in the upper and lower limb, as well as hop performance during oral contraceptive (OC) use with non-OC use in the same woman. A secondary aim was to compare muscle strength and hop performance within 3 specific phases of an OC cycle, as well as during a menstrual cycle of the corresponding cycle days (non-OC cycle).Design:Crossover.Setting:Research laboratory.Participants:Seventeen moderate to highly recreationally active women participated in the study.Intervention:Observational study with no intervention.Main Outcome Measures:Maximal isokinetic muscle strength of knee extensors, isometric handgrip strength, and 1-leg hop test for distance were measured during 1 OC cycle and 1 non-OC cycle at 3 specific phases, respectively, using a crossover design.Results:No significant differences were found in terms of muscle strength and hop performance between the OC cycle and the non-OC cycle. Furthermore, no significant difference in muscle strength and hop performance could be demonstrated within the OC cycle or within the phases of the menstrual cycle except from maximal isokinetic muscle strength in the knee extensors detected between the early follicular phase and the luteal phase.Conclusions:We found no support for any significant influence of OC use on muscle strength and hop performance in healthy moderately active women.

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