Reported at the Australian Podiatry Conference, new research has found that women are more likely to injure their knees, feet and ankles during ovulation. According to Simon Bartold from the University of Melbourne, the risk of woman injuring themself is significantly heightened at the beginning and the middle of their cycle. Apparently levels of oestrogen and relaxin vary through the cycle and ligaments such as the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) contain receptors for these hormones. The risk of injury in females in the middle of the cycle is due to compromised mechanical properties of the ligament which fluctuates according to the increased volume of circulating oestrogen. Bartold’s research indicates the risk of injury is reduced if female athletes take oral contraceptives. Injury rate, performance and muscle activity are all positively influenced by the monocyclic contraceptive pill.