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Menstrual cycle status and iron deficiency diagnosis in healthy females

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Claire Badenhorst
Dr Kathryn Beck
Professor Pamela von Hurst
Dr Stacy Sims
Dr Sarah Beable
Health issue:
Other (generic health or health services)
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
This project aims to examine the changes in menstrual cycle status, primarily bleeding characteristics in healthy regularly menstruating premenopausal females in response to psychological stress and dietary intake. Menstrual bleeding is cited as a key contributing factor to the diagnosis of iron deficiency in females, yet no research to date has identified lifestyle factors that may increase the prevalence of heavy menstrual bleeding in otherwise healthy females and, as such, increase their risk of being diagnosed with iron deficiency. This project will be the first health- specific research to consider the phase of the menstrual cycle, the adaptations of the menstrual cycle to psychological and dietary stress, and the subsequent impact this has on a prominent adverse health outcome in females within New Zealand.