The female athlete triad is a potentially serious health condition typically affecting teenage girls and young women. It’s made up
of three key components (“the triad”):
Low energy availability, sometimes associated with an eating disorder
Abnormalities in the menstrual cycle
Low bone mineral density, sometimes leading to stress fractures or osteoporosis
As sports medicine doctors, we will often find that a young athlete first comes in to see us when she’s developed a stress fracture. The typical teenage athlete may hide conditions such as an eating disorder or abnormalities in her menstrual cycle from her friends, family, and coaches, so the stress fracture is often the thing that requires her to seek medical care.