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Health and Wellbeing

Female Performance & Health Initiative

Delivering educational opportunities and resources relating to key female athlete performance and health considerations

The AIS Female Performance & Health Initiative (FPHI) was established in October 2019, to improve female athlete specific knowledge and systems of support.

The initiative will benefit Australian athletes, coaches, parents, sporting organisations and support staff in the sport sector and will raise awareness and understanding to key female athlete performance and health considerations, including but not limited to:

The menstrual cycle and associated dysfunction including endometriosis and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Medical conditions impacting female athletes

Pelvic floor health and incontinence

Breast health

Pregnancy and return to sport


  • Delivering education opportunities and educational resources relating to key female athlete performance and health considerations.

  • Building system-wide knowledge by providing an evidence-based framework for creating resources for athletes and their performance teams from the grassroots to the elite level.

  • Identifying research related to female athlete health and performance to help Australian athletes, coaches and clinicians make evidence-informed decisions.

  • Establishing a roadmap for future research in female athlete health and performance to help to ensure future research is appropriately targeted and prioritised.

  • Collaborating with high performance system partners, academic institutions, subject experts and the wider sporting sector to create efficiencies and reduce duplication.

  • A supporting aim of the initiative is to promote and support women to lead various aspects of project activity – including female researchers, scientists, coaches, practitioners, and high performance sport leaders.

Dr Rachel Harris (expert), Assoc. Prof. Clare Minahan (expert), Monique Murphy (athlete), Grace Stewart (athlete), Elissa Kent (coach) and Adam Didyk (coach) provide an insight into what FPHI is and why it is such an important initiative.

Female athlete resources

Coming in 2021 – online education resources for pathway athletes, parents, coaches and general practitioners working with female athletes.

Research

Female athlete research from FPHI partners and the Australian high performance sport system.

Menstrual Cycle Change During COVID-19. Sharing some early resultsBritish Journal of Sports Medicine blog (Published: November, 2020)

Larsen B, Morris K, Quinn K, Osborne M, & Minahan C. (2020). Practice does not make perfect: A brief view of athletes’ knowledge on the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 23. 8. 690-694 (Published: 8 February, 2020)

Rogers MA, Appaneal RN, Hughes D, et al. Prevalence of impaired physiological function consistent with Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): an Australian elite and pre-elite cohort. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2021;55:38-45.

More information

For more information please email femaleperformancehealth@ausport.gov.au.

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