The effect of female sex hormone supplementation on tendon in pre and postmenopausal women: A systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Oestrogen deprivation has been shown to have a negative effect on connective tissue and its turnover. A link may exist between supplemental oestrogen, preservation of tendon collagen and less tendon abnormality. The aim was to determine the effects of female sex hormone supplementation (FSHS) on tendon.A systematic search of nine key health databases; Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, AUSPORT and AMI, Cochrane Library, SafetyLit and PEDro was completed (to Feb 24, 2016). The search yielded 6378 records using terms relating to hormone (oestrogen, estrogen, hormone replacement therapy, HRT, estrogen therapy, oestrogen therapy, oral contraceptive pill) and tendon. Quality assessment, data extraction and data synthesis of included papers was undertaken.Low level of evidence for all outcomes; no positive or negative link between FSHS and molecular, mechanical and morphological tendon response outcomes, and the addition of exercise to FSHS, had minimal effects on tendon CSA.The effect of oestrogen supplementation on tendon is contradictory and inconsistent. This review suggests there is a need for further studies to understand the effects of FSHS on tendon tissue at a mechanical, morphological and molecular level.

publication date

  • 2016