Effects of oral contraceptive use on female sexual salivary hormones and indirect markers of muscle damage following eccentric cycling in women
To determine the effects of oral contraceptive (OC) use on salivary concentrations of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and its effects on the changes in indirect markers of muscle damage following eccentric cycling in women.
10 oral contraceptive users at follicular phase (OC-FOL), 10 non-oral contraceptives users at follicular phase (NOC-FOL), and 10 non-oral contraceptives users at ovulation phase (NOC-OV) participated. Subjects performed 30 min of eccentric cycling at 90% of their maximal concentric power output (PO). Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC), creatine kinase activity (CK), muscle soreness (SOR), and pain pressure threshold of vastus lateralis (PPT-VL) was assessed before, immediately after, and 24–96 h after cycling. Salivary estrogen, progesterone and testosterone concentrations were measured before, 72 and 96 h after exercise.
No difference in estrogen levels between users and non-users was observed. Testosterone was 45% lower in OC-FOL than NOC-FOL at 96 h post-exercise (P = 0.01). Progesterone was 30.8-fold higher in NOC-OV than OC-FOL and 9.7-fold higher than NOC-FOL at 96 h post-exercise. The NOC-FOL recovered all indirect markers of muscle damage by 72 h post-exercise (P > 0.05). NOC-OV recovered MVC strength and muscle soreness (SOR and PPT-VL) by 96 h post-exercise (P > 0.05). OC-FOL did not recover baseline values of MVC, SOR, CK, and PPT-VL by 96 h.
These results suggest that recovery after exercise-induced muscle damage took longer in OC-FOL, followed by NOC-OV and by NOC-FOL, respectively. Furthermore, testosterone and progesterone levels may affect recovery of indirect markers of muscle damage in women.
KeywordsExercise-induced muscle damage Eccentric cycling Muscle recovery Oral contraception
One-way measures of variance
Body mass index
Creatine kinase activity
Delayed onset of muscle soreness
Exercise-induced muscle damage
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays
Maximal heart rate
Fisher’s least significant difference
Maximal voluntary contraction
Maximal concentric power output
Pain pressure threshold
Pain pressure threshold for vastus lateralis muscle
Visual analogue scale
Peak oxygen consumption
This work was funded by the Institutional Research Grant awarded to K.M and L.P. by Universidad Finis Terrae (Grant no. CAI 2015).
LP and KM conceived and designed the research. CG, KM and LP conducted the data collection. KM and HZ performed the experiments and biochemical analyses. KM wrote the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There were no conflicts of interest.
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