The Female Athlete Triad: An Expanded Perspective on a Complex Disorder

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Health Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Scott A. Conger


The Female Athlete Triad has traditionally been characterized by (1) decreased energy availability, (2) decreased bone mineral density and (3) menstrual irregularities. Recently, the more inclusive term Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) has been adopted to include other potential outcomes. This new terminology adds other conditions that may be present including, but not limited to, impaired metabolic rate, bone health, immune function and cardiovascular health. The relative energy deficiency is the primary determining factor of the disorder, which could have both short term and long-term implications. The Female Athlete Triad is still considered a serious disorder, with plenty of research being conducted on this specific condition but it is now considered a subdivision of the more inclusive term RED-S. Increased awareness of this disorder is needed to reduce the number of young athletes affected and to educate others on the potential extent of the long-term negative effects, which outweigh a potential competitive advantage in their sport.

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