Estrogen to Progesterone Ratio and Fluid Regulatory Responses to Varying Degrees and Methods of Dehydration

Gabrielle E.W. Giersch, Nisha Charkoudian, Margaret C. Morrissey, Cody R. Butler, Abigail T. Colburn, Aaron R. Caldwell, Stavros A. Kavouras, Douglas J. Casa

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between volume regulatory biomarkers and the estrogen to progesterone ratio (E:P) prior to and following varying methods and degrees of dehydration. Ten women (20 ± 1 year, 56.98 ± 7.25 kg, 164 ± 6 cm, 39.59 ± 2.96 mL•kg•min−1) completed four intermittent exercise trials (1.5 h, 33.8 ± 1.3°C, 49.5 ± 4.3% relative humidity). Testing took place in two hydration conditions, dehydrated via 24-h fluid restriction (Dehy, USG > 1.020) and euhydrated (Euhy, USG ≤ 1.020), and in two phases of the menstrual cycle, the late follicular phase (days 10–13) and midluteal phase (days 18–22). Change in body mass (%BMΔ), serum copeptin concentration, and plasma osmolality (Posm) were assessed before and after both dehydration stimuli (24-h fluid restriction and exercise heat stress). Serum estrogen and progesterone were analyzed pre-exercise only. Estrogen concentration did not differ between phases or hydration conditions. Progesterone was significantly elevated in luteal compared to follicular in both hydration conditions (Dehy—follicular: 1.156 ± 0.31, luteal: 5.190 ± 1.56 ng•mL−1, P < 0.05; Euhy—follicular: 0.915 ± 0.18, luteal: 4.498 ± 1.38 ng·mL−1, P < 0.05). As expected, E:P was significantly greater in the follicular phase compared to luteal in both hydration conditions (Dehy—F:138.94 ± 89.59, L: 64.22 ± 84.55, P < 0.01; Euhy—F:158.13 ± 70.15, L: 50.98 ± 39.69, P < 0.01, [all •103]). Copeptin concentration was increased following 24-h fluid restriction and exercise heat stress (mean change: 18 ± 9.4, P < 0.01). We observed a possible relationship of lower E:P and higher copeptin concentration following 24-h fluid restriction (r = −0.35, P = 0.054). While these results did not reach the level of statistical significance, these data suggest that the differing E:P ratio may alter fluid volume regulation during low levels of dehydration but have no apparent impact after dehydrating exercise in the heat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number722305
JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
StatePublished - Oct 14 2021


  • copeptin
  • exercise heat stress
  • female sex hormones
  • fluid balance
  • fluid restriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Anthropology
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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