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How do we know a female athlete’s energy availability is in a good place? Until recently, menstrual cycle patterns were touted as one of the main indicators of energy availability status in female athletes. So, what has changed?

Menstrual cycle patterns remain an important element in understanding energy availability status, with missed menstrual cycles ringing the alarm for REDs risk. However, ovulation is the more important part of the picture when it comes to providing a lens to energy availability status. Confirming ovulation via the luteinizing hormone surge is now considered the gold standard to monitor REDs in female athletes (Elliot-Sale et coll., 2020, 2021).