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Female Health and Wellbeing

Key areas of focus include iron-deficiency anaemia, the female athlete triad and menstrual disturbances in female athletes, breast health of female athletes and barriers to physical activity in the female population.

Our primary objective is to develop effective strategies for optimising health and performance of female athletes and exercisers. This will be achieved by:

  • Providing an understanding of the prevalence and impact of female specific health issues
  • Evaluating strategies to tackle these health issues
  • Establishing collaborative relationships with individuals, institutions and organisations to improve female athletes’ health
  • Developing knowledge transfer mechanisms to share scientific research results with female athletes and professionals working with this population.


PhD students

All research degree students at St Mary’s are part of the Doctoral College. If you would like to discuss your proposal please email  conor.gissane@stmarys.ac.uk.


Selected publications

  • Bruinvels, G., Burden, R., Brown, N., Richards, T., & Pedlar, C. (2016). The prevalence and impact of heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) on elite and non-elite athletes. PLOS One, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0149881
  • Scurr, J., Brown, N., Smith, J., Brasher, A., Risius, D., & Marczyk, A. (2016). The influence of the breast on sport and exercise participation in school girls in the UK. J Adolesc Health, 58(2), 167-173
  • Bruinvels, G., Burden, R., Brown, N., Richards, T., & Pedlar, C. (2015). The prevalence and impact of heavy menstrual bleeding among athletes and mass start runners of the 2015 London Marathon. Br J Sports Med. DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095505
  • Morton, K.L., Atkin, A.J., Corder, K., Suhrcke, M. & van Sluijs, E.M.F. (2015). The school environment and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviour: a mixed-studies systematic review. Obes Rev, 17, 142–158
  • Brown, N., Burnett, E., & Scurr, J. (2015). Is breast pain greater in active females compared to the general population in the UK? The Breast Journal. DOI: 10.1111/tbj.12547
  • Scurr, J., Hedger, W., Morris, P., & Brown, N. (2014). The prevalence, severity and impact of breast pain in the general population. The Breast Journal, 20(5), 508-513
  • Brown, N., White, J., Brasher, A. & Scurr, J. (2014). An investigation in to breast support and sports bra use in female runners of the 2012 London Marathon. J Sports Sci, 32(9), 801-809
  • Brown, N., White, J., Brasher, A. & Scurr, J. (2014). The experience of mastalgia in female runners of the 2012 London Marathon and its effect on exercise behaviour. Br J Sports Med, 48, 320-325
  • Pedlar, C.R., Whyte, G.P., Burden, R., Moore, B., Horgan, G., & Pollock, N. (2013). A case study of an iron-deficient female Olympic 1500-m runner. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 8(6), 695-8
  • Pollock, N., Pedlar, C., Morrissey, D., Perry, M., Grogan, C., & Dimitriou, L. (2010). Bone mineral density and other features of the female athlete triad in elite endurance runners. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 20, 418 – 426.