Does Drinking Affect Your Period? Experts Have The Answers You’re Looking For
Listen, if you're a female, you don't need me to tell you periods aren't fun to deal with.
But there are certain things you might want to put in your body during that time of the month that will actually only make your symptoms even worse.
And, unfortunately, one of those things is alcohol.
Drinking, even in moderation, while on your period, can actually cause your menstruation to spiral a bit out of control.
Elite Daily spoke with a couple of experts on the matter, who can give you a basic rundown on what a little liquid courage is really doing to your female hormones.
While there's a general list of ways alcohol can impact women during menstruation, the effects still vary from person to person.
Nutritionist Stephanie Dunne tells Elite Daily,
I have clients who are very clear about how their hormones affect them, and it is [always] different. Some will tell me that one glass of wine the week before their period leaves them tipsy, while others will say that's the one time of the month they can have a couple of glasses and not feel the effects.
She went on to say that, though each alcoholic experience varies, women should still limit themselves to just one drink a day:
A woman should not increase her alcohol intake beyond the recommended amount of one glass per day, even if she can metabolize it better at different times of the month. We know that excess alcohol consumption is linked to outcomes like breast cancer, possibly due to its ability to increase estrogen levels, and we want women to be healthy even when they feel like they can handle their drink better."
Here are a few other ways drinking alcohol can affect your period.
1. It Can Make Your Period Irregular
Which, of course, is totally annoying.
This can happen because alcohol can temporarily increase your estrogen and testosterone levels, which can alter when you menstruate, thus causing missed or unexpected periods.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
2. It Can Make The Pain Last Longer
I wouldn't wish prolonged cramps on even my worst enemy, and I certainly wouldn't indulge in a night of liquid coverage just to wake up with sh*tty cramps the next day.
Elite Daily spoke with sexologist Dr. Marie Stubbs, who says terrible cramps after drinking alcohol are due to dehydration:
Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration which can leave people more susceptible to cramps. Of course, many people suffer from menstrual cramps, so the consumption of alcohol can intensify this symptom.
Plus, if that's not bad enough, regular alcohol use can also make your cramps last longer by way of water retention.
The more water you retain, the more you bloat, and the worse your cramps will feel.
3. It Makes PMS A Living Hell
Other than the awful cramps, other symptoms that might get worse after a night of drinking include breast tenderness, headaches, and mood fluctuations.
Which means that, at this point, you're probably more emotional than you'd ever want to be.
No. Thank you.
4. It Lowers Magnesium Levels
Magnesium levels normally fluctuate during a woman's cycle, but alcohol only worsens the fluctuations, causing it to deplete more than anything.
The lower the magnesium, the lower the blood sugar, which leads to dizziness and sugar cravings.
5. Your Emotions Can Spiral Out Of Control
This is because alcohol increases estrogen levels, making you more emotional about things that would otherwise be insignificant.
It can also lead you to make decision you probably wouldn't otherwise approve of.
Dr. Stubbs explains,
Other affects from alcohol and the menstrual cycle can come from things that happen while you drink, rather than a direct correlation. People under the influence can engage in more risky behavior than not, like unprotected sex.
So, do your body a favor, and lay off the liquid courage, at least during that time of the month.