Is it okay to drink alcohol during your period?
Your period week has kicked off and you're having a night out or craving your favorite alcoholic beverage. Is it good to drink alcohol when you have your period? What are the impacts on your cycle and on your well-being?
What are the effects of alcohol on menstruation?
If you decide to drink alcohol during your period, do it safely and without excess. Under these conditions, drinking alcohol will most likely not have a serious impact on your menstrual cycle, your period and your fertility. We'll see that drinking alcohol at different times in your cycle can have an effect on your body.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2018, alcoholic beverages impact and worsen PMS - the premenstrual syndrome.
Indeed, several studies show that consumption affects hormones. Alcohol directly affects the increase in estrogen, testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH).
Worsening of premenstrual syndrome
Alcohol will affect female hormones and therefore play a role in the serological markers that trigger symptoms just before the onset of menstruation but also during menstruation. Thus, the consumption of alcohol will accentuate the whole:
- Menstrual cramps in the lower abdomen
- Sensitivity of the chest and pain in the breasts
- Difficulty falling asleep and getting a good night's sleep
- A capricious and difficult transit
- Headaches, migraines (headaches)
- A disturbed mood, a feeling of stress, sadness or anxiety
Increased hormone levels
Alcohol affects hormone levels during the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Indeed, hormonal differences have been observed:
- An increase in androgens during the follicular phase
- An increase in estrogen during ovulation that is maintained during the second half of the cycle
There is some evidence in the research that low and moderate alcohol consumption can delay menopause. As a reminder, hormonal effects have not been shown with moderate alcohol consumption.
How does alcohol consumption affect the menstrual cycle?
Drinking alcohol regularly or without moderation can affect your period and your menstrual cycle. Here is a list of symptoms you may experience
- From irregular periods or amenorrhea: the increase in estrogen and testosterone levels, which are essential hormones for ovulation, will lead to irregular periods or a absence of periods for several cycles.
- Stomach aches: Dehydration from alcohol can make menstrual cramps worse.
- Cravings: In the list of PMS symptoms, the feeling of hunger increases tenfold due to dehydration.
- Fatigue during the luteal phases: Alcohol has a depressant effect on the difference which will slow down your central nervous system. Alcohol often contains a lot of sugars, so it could cause blood sugar to drop. Secondly, alcohol consumption has an effect on sleep and reduces the quality of your rest.
- Mood changes: Alcohol during the luteal phase can increase your mood swings. You may feel very cheerful and in a good mood in the evening, or you may feel very sad and experience feelings similar to depression or anxiety.
- Fertility: Several studies show that drinking more than 10 drinks a week could have a significant impact on fertility and your chances of conceiving a baby.
Is it possible to have a few drinks during your period?
As we have seen, alcohol has undesirable effects if consumed without moderation. However, it is perfectly fine to drink alcohol during your period if you feel like it. Keep in mind that alcohol, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, can have more or less undesirable effects and impact your usual pain and symptoms. Try to schedule your evenings every week taking into account the phases of your cycle which are as a reminder :
- The menstrual phase: at this time, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop.
- The follicular phase: this is when your period ends and your estrogen rises again.
- Ovulation: During this time, estrogen is at its peak. Ovulation precedes the onset of PMS.
- The luteal phase: This is when you will get the famous premenstrual syndrome.
Our advice for drinking alcohol during your period!
It is possible (although not recommended) to drink alcohol during your period! The main thing is to stay well hydrated to avoid dehydration, which would aggravate PMS symptoms. So, a little advice: between each drink, drink a glass of water. Your body will thank you the next morning. You can even apply this advice when you're not menstruating! Of course, when it comes to alcohol, moderation is always the key word.
The FAQ of alcohol and menstruation
Why not drink alcohol during your period?
Alcohol consumption can have an impact on hormones and therefore on the menstrual cycle. Excessive drinking can delay your period or cause amenorrhea - the absence of a period.
Does alcohol thin the blood of the period?
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