Your Period Doesn't like Alcohol...
Sometimes I’m like, yeah but really? Or yeah, but how much? Studies are done all the time but often statistics are given as facts that seriously skew the actual studies. As someone who loves history and therefore loves tiki drinks (I’m super into the 1930’s-1950’s and there is so much history in the Tiki scene) I can’t help but wonder what alcohol does to my hormones and my period.
Let’s dive in!
Does Alcohol affect your period?
Yes it does but to what degree varies based on genetics, liver efficiency, hormone status, how much sugar you consume or even how much sugar you have in those drinks! There are a lot of factors that change the result but at the end of the day some women will have a little alcohol and experience abnormalities in their cycle while others may have more and not notice a difference.
If you’re struggling with PCOS or testosterone abnormalities then alcohol will play a significant role in your cycle, ovulating, hair loss, acne and infertility but even without PCOS you could experience a change.
More interestingly, does alcohol cause PMS?
OMG I’m super embarrassed about this but I don’t experience PMS normally and I don’t drink often but I did have an experience I’ll never forget. The worst PMS I’ve had in probably 4 years happened right after I had a lot of alcohol and sugar.
It wasn’t a tiki drink sipping night, it was a friends party with bottomless, sugary margaritas and a few wine popsicles which are packed with sugar. I felt sick for sure that night and was extremely hung over the next day but what’s worse? A few days later, I had the worst PMS I’ve had in years. Irritable beyond belief, super sore nipples, acne, you name it. Things I just don’t experience anymore because I take good care of myself, and use key PMS supplements.
At the time, I didn’t know that studies have shown that drinking can make you 45% more likely to experience PMS symptoms. If you have more than a drink a day, that number creeps to almost 80%. Why does this happen? It’s probably because alcohol increases our estrogen.
I know what you’re thinking, “Does this mean Alcohol causes PMS?” No, it increases your chances of having symptoms but it doesn’t create it. Alcohol creates a chain reaction through the following:
- Depletes Magnesium Levels, which we talked about before how taking magnesium can lesson your chance of having PMS. When Alcohol depletes your magnesium levels you’re more susceptible to PMS and cramps.
- Makes your hormone levels fluctuate with estrogen.
- Distracts your liver! Instead of your liver dealing with processing your hormones, it’s detoxing you from all that alcohol.
- You’re most likely more insulin resistance before your period and alcohol affects your blood sugar creating that chain reaction again to make your symptoms worse.
- Water! Dehydration will do a lot to your body but it will also make any cramps you normally have worse.
So you’re telling me not to drink before or after my period?
In general a glass of wine once in a while isn’t going to throw your body into a PMS war field but yeah, you are what you eat so putting something like sugary alcoholic drinks in your body just isn’t good for you. Even some studies on wine show a spike in estrogen for some women.
I’m a big believer in living to the fullest so believe me when I say, it’s up to you but it really is up to you and the consequences are yours to live with. Do you think I want to drink again and have those PMS symptoms… as if the hangover wasn’t bad, I had a week of my body getting back at me. Yucky.
Alcohol doesn’t help with menstrual cramps (it’s not a long term fix, and it makes them worse). Alcohol should also never be used as an emotional fix. Not to mention, if you know your limit for alcohol, think again, your period can change your tolerance level. That’s right, alcohol tolerance can shift during your period. There are a ton of reasons not to drink alcohol, for example, studies show that women who consume 3 alcoholic drinks a week have a 15% higher chance of developing breast cancer. Alcohol can also cause early menopause, diabetes, heart disease, depression… yeah, not great results.
The bottom line is, anything in excess isn’t good for your body. You can always lead a healthier life but it’s also important to remember, at what cost? You have to figure out what balance is right for you. If that’s sipping a Nui-Nui while sitting in a bath or having a glass of wine with dinner, at the end of the day you have to figure out if the symptoms are worth it. Though if you’re trying to avoid alcohol try giving yourself something else you enjoy, like sparkling water or a healthy version of a Strawberry Daiquiri. Or try just using a fancy cocktail glass when you have your orange juice... it's fun :P
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.