Menstrual Cycle and Bone Health in Adolescents


Address for correspondence: Barbara A. Cromer, M.D., Director, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 MetroHealth Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109. Voice: +1-216-778-2643; fax: +1-216-778-4223.


The intriguing notion of the menstrual cycle's having an acute impact on bone metabolism is examined as an expression of estrogen changes manifest as fluctuations in calcium-regulating hormones or biomarkers of bone formation/resorption. The effects of estrogen, progesterone, androgens, and follicle-stimulating hormones on bone health are also reviewed here. To date, the balance of evidence suggests that the menstrual cycle may exert a significant effect on bone metabolism. Further research needs to be conducted, however, to define these hormonal relationships.