The NCAA knows even less about concussions among women than it does about those among men; will that change? Even in a groundbreaking decade in research on concussions, one with more increased awareness on head trauma in sports than any time in U.S. history, there’s still a noticeable knowledge gap between what we know about the effects of concussions on men and women. What we do know, however, only leaves us wanting more, especially when it comes to women who play college sports.
Between 2004 and 2009, 35 percent of the estimated concussions for all Division I practices and games nationwide occurred in women-only sporting activities, according to the NCAA. Dr. Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer, has said female college athletes have between one and up to three times greater risk for concussion in at least three sports — soccer, softball and basketball — compared to their male counterparts.
- Nearly 58 percent of the women polled who have suffered at least one concussion — and continue to play organized sports today.
- More than 69 percent of the women polled continue to play through a head injury, and never report it, while experiencing symptoms such as headaches, blurred or double vision, dizziness, slowed thinking and nausea.
- More than half of the women polled are still suffering from symptoms they believe could only be caused from their head injuries.