Int J Sports Med 2019; 40(13): 842-849
DOI: 10.1055/a-0985-4373
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Oral Contraceptive Use does not Negatively Affect Body Composition and Strength Adaptations in Trained Women

Ramón Romance
1   Human Kinetics and Body Composition Laboratory, Universidad de Malaga, Málaga, Spain
2   Department of Physical Education and Sports, EADE-University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Málaga, Spain
Salvador Vargas
1   Human Kinetics and Body Composition Laboratory, Universidad de Malaga, Málaga, Spain
2   Department of Physical Education and Sports, EADE-University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Málaga, Spain
Sergio Espinar
3   Better by Science, Málaga, Spain
Jorge L. Petro
4   Research Group in Physical Activity, Sports and Health Sciences (GICAFS), Universidad de Córdoba, Montería, Colombia
Diego A. Bonilla
5   Research Division, DBSS, Bogotá, Colombia
Brad J. Schöenfeld
6   Lehman College of CUNY Department of Health Sciences, Exercise Science Department, Bronx, United States
Richard B. Kreider
7   Exercise & Sport Nutrition Lab, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States
Javier Benítez-Porres
1   Human Kinetics and Body Composition Laboratory, Universidad de Malaga, Málaga, Spain
› Author Affiliations
Acknowledgements: Supported by University of Málaga (Campus of International Excellence Andalucía Tech).
Further Information

Publication History

accepted 22 July 2019

Publication Date:
06 September 2019 (online)


The purpose was to analyze the influence of oral contraceptive use on body composition and strength levels in trained women. Twenty-three resistance-trained women participated in this study (age=27.4±3.4 years; fat mass=28.0±5.0%; BMI=22.9±2.7 kg∙m-2). Subjects performed an 8-week non-linear resistance-training program. Participants were assigned to either a group that consumed oral contraceptives (n=12, OC) or to a group that did not consume (n=11, NOC). Changes in body composition were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Strength performance was assessed via the one maximum repetition (1RM) test in the squat and bench press, and muscular power was evaluated using the countermovement jump (CMJ) test. Fat free mass increased significantly in OC but no changes were seen in NOC. There were no changes in fat mass for either OC or NOC. Significant changes were found in bench press 1RM for both OC and NOC; similarly, increases in squat 1RM were reported in OC and NOC. Alternatively, no significant changes were found in CMJ in both OC and NOC. No significant between-group differences were detected in any of the studied variables. The use of oral contraceptives during resistance training did not negatively affect body composition or strength levels in trained women.

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