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Have you noticed that your periods stopped after you misuse or simply consume alcohol? Well, you are not alone. Menstrual cycle issues after drinking alcohol is common. Many people suggest that alcohol can affect the human body in several ways, more than emotionally and physically.
Alcohol can lower inhibitions and cause a hangover, leaving an individual regretting the decision to drink. So, does alcohol affect your menstrual cycle?
How Does the Menstrual Cycle Work?
Hormonal fluctuations trigger the stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle. There is a pituitary gland, a gland present in the brain, and the ovaries, in a woman’s reproductive tract. It cooperates to release particular hormones at a given point in time.
In addition, the menses phase is the initial phase of a menstrual cycle. The woman’s uterus will shed throughout this period. Generally, a woman bleeds for two to seven days. The follicular phase follows and typically lasts between six and fourteen days. The hormone estrogen levels increase during this phase. The lining of the uterus thickens and grows again.
During this stage, another hormone known as follicle-stimulating hormone is produced. This causes the follicles in women’s ovaries to develop so they can produce a fully mature egg. As a result, ovulation happens on the 14th day of the 28-day menstrual cycle.
The luteinizing hormone triggers the female’s ovaries to release eggs during this stage. It is referred to as ovulation. The luteal phase, the final stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle, is when the egg is released from the ovary and moves through the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
Progesterone levels generally increase, preparing the lining for pregnancy. If the sperm fertilizes the egg, it adheres to the uterine lining and leads to the pregnancy. In that case, progesterone and estrogen levels reduce. In the end, the lining of your uterus again sheds when your period date comes.
Effects of Alcohol on Periods
Alcohol does disrupt your menstrual cycle. Your liver, the main organ responsible for digesting alcohol, is greatly impacted when you consume alcohol. Since your liver is primarily responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in your body, this can immediately impact your blood sugar levels.
Note that your liver is also responsible for processing the body’s hormones. In fact, research indicates a link between alcohol and an increase in hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal and premenopausal women is related.
The endocrine system, the network of glands responsible for producing your hormones, can be affected by alcohol, which can change cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and bone density levels. This way, your entire body gets affected by these hormonal changes caused by alcohol.
Excessive alcohol use can have a variety of negative effects, some of which include:
- Irregularities in menstrual cycles
- Deregulation of the HPA axis
- Premature menopause
- Mammary cancer
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Disrupting the circadian rhythm
- Thyroid conditions
- Heart condition
- Liver illness
Alcohol consumption not only disrupts your menstrual cycle by producing bloating but can also make cramps worse by interfering with the prostaglandin balance. Prostaglandins are a group of lipids produced at the sites of infection or tissue damage to aid in the recovery of wounds and illnesses. They regulate functions such as blood flow, blood clot formation, inflammation, and even labor induction.
Prostaglandins cause the uterine muscle to contract throughout a menstrual cycle. Prostaglandin levels that are higher result in more painful menstrual cramps. Alcohol makes your period cramps worse by raising prostaglandin levels.
Drinking alcohol can increase your menstrual blood loss or make your period heavier. Alcohol thins the blood and raises estrogen levels. As a result, frequent drinking may result in heavier menstruation. This is because estrogen encourages the growth of endometrial tissue or the uterine lining that sheds. It implies that your period will be heavier because you’ll bleed more.
Alcohol is renowned for dehydrating people, especially when it is heavily consumed and the only drink a person prefers to intake. As a result, drinking can worsen period cramps, making it more difficult for menstrual blood and fluid to travel through the cervix, uterus, and out of the body.
Does Alcohol Cause Irregular Cycles?
Drinking alcohol, even in modest amounts, can impact your hormone levels and, in many women, can result in irregular periods. Your cycle runs on particular phases that contain different hormone levels. Consequently, cycle irregularity might happen when alcohol enters the picture and alters those levels.
The most dramatic alterations to your cycle appear to be caused by heavy drinking, which is defined as binge drinking (four or more drinks in less than two hours) at least five times a month. Heavy drinking can even cause your cycle to stop. Therefore, controlling your habit of drinking is important. If you are dealing with alcohol addiction, you need to opt for addiction treatment that helps you get rid of this habit.
Does Alcohol Make Period Symptoms Worse?
Alcohol might worsen your period symptoms in a variety of ways. Here are some issues that you might notice.
- Dehydration may result, which can make cramping worse.
- Since magnesium levels drop, PMS and cramps may become more severe.
- Your hormone levels may fluctuate, which could make your period symptoms worse.
- It keeps the liver active. During your period, your liver will be functioning to process alcohol rather than breaking down extra hormones. It implies that your period may be more painful than usual.
- It may alter your gut microbiota and increase your risk of inflammation and leaky gut. Because of this, your body may be unable to metabolize hormones efficiently during your period, which could worsen symptoms.
- When you drink in moderation, your blood sugar levels may increase. Many women become more insulin resistant in the middle days of their menstrual cycle (after ovulation). Alcohol can worsen it, so it’s best to avoid drinking.
Get Help for Your Alcohol Addiction
A proper menstrual cycle is crucial to living a healthy life. It helps you regulate your physical and mental health and prevent severe health issues like cancer and pregnancy complications. And if you are noticing any impact of alcohol on your periods, you need to resolve this problem by opting for addiction treatment.
New Hope Healthcare can help you overcome your addiction problem. Our team of experts can help you find ways to control your addiction. We make sure to provide you simplest and easiest techniques for the treatment. Our experts are fully equipped to deal with any problem and ensure to keep your details confidential.
Besides alcohol addiction, we also support drug abuse and several mental health issues. So, if you are dealing with more than just alcohol abuse, we can help you. Want to improve your life? Reach out to us for support and help at 865-800-0947