Just saw this great piece on Outside Magazine about how different medications may impact your athletic endeavors. It has a big section on birth control that cites studies that show that estrogen (as found in The Pill) may increase your endurance, but will also slightly decrease your strength training abilities. Check out the full article here.
For another look at birth control and sport, there’s a really interesting podcast with Dr. Tamsin Lewis where she talks about the problems with oral contraception and hormones.
Personally, I’ve struggled to find a birth control method that doesn’t bother my stomach or impact my performance. Additionally, with how much I travel (and shift time zones), The Pill isn’t great since it needs to be taken at the same time every day—plus filling prescriptions while on on the road is a nightmare! After a lot of trial and error in the past few years, I came to find that an IUD (specifically, the Mirena one) works really well for me, and I know a few other cyclists that swear by it.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about your options… and tell your coach about any issues that may effect your training, i.e heavy flow, cramps, et cetera. (Want to talk to a woman coach about shifting your training to work with your cycle? Book a call with “Saddle, Sore” author and cycling coach Molly Hurford here!)
Other books that you may find interesting / helpful:
- ROAR by Stacy Sims (You can also check out this podcast with Stacy and me!)
- WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
- Saddle, Sore by Molly Hurford
For more resources for happy riding, check out author and cycling coach Molly Hurford’s site at ConsummateAthlete.com for articles, podcasts, coaching, and tons more!