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Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Period Cramps? Find Out

by Karun Bholewasi |

The work week is certainly the most dreaded phenomenon all along with the globe. Waking up on Mondays to continue humbles down the character but then things start to get tense by the time Thursday gets around. By Friday eve, your brain screams booze, if you indulge. However, on certain Fridays, you might be a fool to listen to your brain. Why? Because there is another organ in your body that thinks for itself. If you guessed it’s the uterus you are a woman well tested by the perils of having a vagina.

The uterus doesn’t listen to what your brain has to say and has the ability to control what stays inside and what goes out. Since the adult woman is almost always destined to be a mother, the uterus keeps conserving a general amount of blood and water to retain a foetus whenever you conceive. But it cannot keep that blood and water stagnant for too long. So, it keeps replacing the liquid and discharges the old one if you don’t find the “right one” within the time of 23 days. The menstrual cycle is all controlled by hormonal levels. A disbalance of these hormones can lead to irregular periods that are difficult to control without proper medication and diet. Almost 20% of women have irregular periods which come with a harsh lifestyle that includes more than moderate drinking and smoking. So, is alcohol really the painkiller you think it is?

Is Alcohol Intake ‘Okay’ During Periods?

Whether you drink or not is entirely up to you. The menstrual cycle comes with its own mental fluctuations like irritability, mood swings, pangs of sudden depression and bursts of anger. Such a mental state leaves you craving for an uplifting activity. And for many of us, a glass of wine or a chilled beer feels like the best way to start an evening on your period day. If you do however want to go overboard and have a whiskey fuelled stayover with friends, you might want to keep some things in mind.

Alcoholic drinks are a known diuretic, which means they have a tendency to flush out water through your kidneys and make you dehydrated. And being dehydrated while bleeding is really not a feeling of bliss. Right after your drinking session ends, you might be asking for a bullet as the uterus, now dehydrated, curdles with higher intensity. This increases the cramps and may cause excessive shedding of the uterus lining and heavier bleeding. Yes, if you’re planning no babies or already have one, a hysterectomy (uterus removal) might be a solution to support a drinking habit. But hysterectomy has a messed up side that most women wouldn’t want.

Is it Safe to Drink Moderately?

It is certainly okay to have a drink or two in moderation any time of the month. But closer to your PMS days, you might want to slow down a bit and retain that after work wine glass. A working woman might believe that alcohol can be a painkiller for the cramps but it will only make the pain worse, both mentally and physically. The disbalance of hormones and dehydration might give you more mood swings and you might end up surpassing the limit. Alcohol spikes up testosterone in the body for a bit and it is possible to get interrupted flow with increased days of period or be on a heavier flow in the following days of drinking.

So yes, drinking is all right during the menstrual cycle. However, drinking while PMS can make your menstrual cycle go from 28 days to 34 days, and that is a health issue. When PMS timings fluctuate, irregular periods get out of control and you might have to give up your drinking habit if you wish to maintain your reproductive health.

If you’re around your 30s and are looking to drop a regular drinking habit you might want to start right away. The reason is that if you ever want to be a mum in the current future, your fertility rates might be dropping with every drinking session. Heavy drinking women tend to lose their fertility as they move into their 30s.

How Alcohol Affects PMS

There is not one but a number of ways that alcohol can affect your PMS days. One way might be to make you forget about the pain but then it comes back with stronger force, doesn’t it? Here’s how alcohol hampers a healthy menstrual cycle-

Irregular Periods

The female menstrual cycle is governed by three main hormones- progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone. Oestrogen and testosterone are the hormones signalling the end of periods in the uterus and they both are increased with alcohol intake. Causing irregular period weeks and even missed periods but mostly when you’re a heavy drinker. Quitting alcohol consumption when you’re suffering from irregular periods can be a great way to control uterine health. You can also find relief with Namyaa’s Natural Delayed & Irregular Period Syrup with no pharmaceutical chemicals for a natural balance.

Increased Pain

Period pains are for all but some are lucky to not have much pain. While some are built in a way that they feel like they are stuck in a blender below the belly. It is not a good idea to drink while you’re on PMS. It will cause the period pains to intensify because of dehydration. If you still wish to be drunk, remember to drink a glass of water over every sixty or pint. Choose to drink juices and sparkling flavoured water instead to help with the pain and stay hydrated.

Cravings

Even men get cravings, women just tend to crave more delicacies during periods. But the period hunger might increase with the intake of alcohol. You might end up eating a lot of sugar or junk, which in turn will affect your hormonal levels and cause irregularity in periods and don’t forget, increased risk for diabetes.

Fatigue

Period fatigue is common but only on certain days when you have bled. On alcohol, however, the body reacts differently. Most alcoholic beverages have a high quantity of sugar and give you a rush of energy to drink more. But when sugar drops the next morning, you’re left with a bloody and dizzy hangover. Not very safe if you’re alone.

Being indulgent is the right of every human and things that keep the stress away are important in life but do not mar your long-term health for short term pleasure. If you too are suffering from irregular periods, heavy flows, or PCOS symptoms, check out the natural treatment options from Namyaa Women’s Healthcare.