Let’s not beat around the bush: periods kind of suck. And sure, recent years have seen a lot of improvements as far as the universal period experience – or at least the discussion around said experience – goes. That’s to say, conversations around periods have become a lot more open, and the internet has fostered communities where women can pour their collective wisdom on which tampons to get or how best to treat cramps. But, no matter how much things have gotten better, PMS remains a tough spell that we just can’t seem to shake or break.
As tempting as it sounds to sip a frozen margarita on every hot summer afternoon, there might be a few days every month where you should probably take it easy. Research shows that having more than one drink per day (which is categorized as “heavy drinking”) can be associated with a 79 percent heightened risk of PMS, while consuming one drink per day (“moderate drinking”) is associated with a 45 percent heightened risk.
Before you panic, remember that positive association does not necessarily infer causation. We still need more research to understand this correlation. (In other words, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, where the relationship between PMS and drinking could as easily be that women dealing with PMS drink more to cope.)
Still, the findings of the study are notable, especially when you take into account the fact that, as the study puts it, “the worldwide prevalence of alcohol drinking among women is not negligible.” Because alcohol affects and often disrupts chemicals that regulate mood, sleep, and more importantly, hormones, the consumption of it could substantially raise the risk of PMS. Moreover, given that PMS at its most severe could prevent its victims from getting out of bed for days at a time, if cutting out alcohol can alleviate the symptoms in any way, it might very well be worth a shot.