Female athletes should go on the Pill to prevent career-ending ACL injuries: Scientists discover hormones in the contraceptive stop the knee ligament becoming too ‘loose’ and tearing

A single knee injury can stop an athlete’s career in its tracks.

But new research suggests sportswomen could avoid tears to the joint by taking the Pill.

Female athletes are up to 63 per cent less likely to have an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear if they take the combined oral pill, a study found.

The ACL connects the thighbone to the shin and helps stabilise the knee joint, and a tear can be career-ending.

The Pill is often made up of a combination of oestrogen and progesterone, which ‘downregulates hormones, thus limiting hormonal fluctuations’, researchers wrote.

Scientists say the ACL contains oestrogen receptors, which have been shown to increase ‘ligament laxity’, or looseness.

The research was carried out by Brown University and led by Dr Steven DeFroda, of the department of orthopaedic surgery.

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