Posted: March 23, 2016 Contributor: administrator
Birth Control Pill Linked to Lowered ACL Injury Risk
We all know that birth control has many benefits but this is one we never saw coming! According to new research, athletes who take birth control have a significantly lower risk of tearing their ACL.
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries are one of the main reasons both professional and amateur athletes end up on the bench for most of the season. If a tear is severe enough, surgery is typically needed to repair it. In other words, ACL injuries are something that every athlete and coach fears.
So what does this have to do with birth control?
The recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise explains this rather unexpected birth control benefit. The information was gathered from a database of national insurance claims as well as the prescription database of 20,428 young women ranging from 15 to 19 years of age. This is where the link between the estrogen in birth control proved to have an impact on the ACL.
It’s been known for some time now that female athletes are more likely to have ACL injuries, a fact that medical professionals have liked to estrogen levels. In fact, it’s 1.5 to 2 times more common for a female to sustain the injury.
The reason women are more susceptible is likely tied to estrogen fluctuation during puberty.
The hormones in birth control pills are likely having an impact on estrogen levels and helping regulate these changes. Of course, you are probably running through a list of all the female athletes you know that have injured their ACL while on birth control. While this study doesn’t claim that it rules out injury, it simply reduces the chances. Birth control pills are commonly used by female athletes to regulate periods and make them shorter and less painful. It seems now there may be one more reason!