NICHD conducts and supports a variety of clinical research related to menstruation and menstrual problems. Select a link below to learn more about these projects.
- Effects of Body Fat in Reproductive and Hormonal Function in Young Female Athletes
This study aims to determine which changes in body composition and hormones differentiate athletes who stop getting their periods, athletes who continue to get their periods, and non-athletes. It also studies whether estrogen given as a pill or a patch (versus no estrogen) increases bone density and improves bone structure in adolescent athletes who are not getting their periods because of low estrogen.
- Inherited Reproductive Disorders
The transition from childhood to adulthood occurs during puberty, and problems with the hormones released during puberty can affect the reproductive system. Some children have low hormone levels that severely delay or prevent the onset of puberty; others start puberty abnormally early. Conversely, children who have a normal puberty may develop reproductive disorders later in life. The study will look at people with reproductive disorders to learn more about how these disorders may be inherited.
- Hormonal Regulation of Puberty and Fertility
How puberty is initiated remains a key question in pediatric and reproductive endocrinology. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) acts on the pituitary gland to produce gonadotropins, which act on the ovaries and testes to produce estrogen and testosterone, both essential to puberty. This study aims to examine those with low or no GnRH to better understand the effects of GnRH on puberty and fertility.
Information on current NIH-sponsored clinical trials on menstrual irregularities is available at the links below or by calling 800-411-1222: