Female Athlete Triad | Overview


What is the female athlete triad?

The female athlete triad is a disorder that affects your eating habits, your menstrual periods and the strength of your bones. If you have the female athlete triad, you've stopped eating normally and may have developed an eating disorder. Your menstrual periods may have stopped or become irregular. You may also have osteoporosis, a disease that makes your bones thin and weak.

Why should I worry about this now, while I'm young?

If you don't get enough to eat, you may develop nutrient deficiencies that may affect your growth and increase your risk of fractures and injuries. Not having periods for months can also weaken your bones. Without treatment, the loss of bone strength may last forever. Your organs could also sustain damage due to a lack of nutrients.


The Female Athlete Triad by JA Hobart, MD, and DR Smucker, MD, MPH (American Family Physician June 01, 2000, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000601/3357.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00