Female Athlete Program

US News - Stanford Children's Health

Our mission

The Stanford Children’s Health Female Athlete Program is a multidisciplinary team that provides health care for female athletes. It includes sports medicine physicians, adolescent medicine physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers. We understand the unique requirements of females in sports and strive to provide the highest quality care. Our goal is to prevent injuries through education and early diagnosis while treating the complete female athlete and her specific needs.

The female athlete triad

The female athlete triad is a syndrome of three medical conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods) and low bone density. This syndrome is often overlooked in physically active young women and can lead to increased risk of fractures and sports injuries. Young female athletes exhibiting any signs of the triad should be evaluated for treatment by our sports medicine team.

Bone health

Athletes usually have higher bone mineral density than less active individuals. However, overtraining and excessive exercise can put bone health at risk. Healthy eating habits and appropriate training regimens allow the female athlete to grow in the fittest way possible while also putting her in the best position to achieve her goals in future endeavors.

Nutrition and the female athlete

Eating a proper amount of healthy calories each day optimizes female athletes’ ability to perform and prevent injuries. Female athletes also must take in a certain amount of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin D to improve muscle function and decrease risk of stress fractures, infection and inflammation. Our physicians and nutritionists can help craft an individualized dietary plan to optimize the female athlete’s performance.

Concussions and sport safety

Women are more than twice as likely to get a head injury than men playing the same sport. Our team of sports medicine doctors and athletic trainers correctly diagnose and manage concussions to allow a timely and safe return to sports. We also offer pre- and post- concussion neurocognitive testing.