Date PostedMay 19, 2018

Researchers Link PMS to Alcohol Intake


While you may think a night out with the girls is exactly what you need in the lead up to your period, a new international review has revealed that it may actually be the cause of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or it may make it worse.

Researchers in Spain have found a connection between alcohol and PMS, indicating that alcohol may be to blame for PMS symptoms in women who drink. Symptoms include fatigue and mood changes, one or 2 weeks prior to menstruation.

University of Santiago de Compostela researchers analysed the data in 19 studies on PMS and alcohol, including more than 47,000 participants. The studies spanned 8 countries including Australia, the others were The USA, Britain, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea and Taiwan.

Researchers found that alcohol consumption was linked with moderate PMS risk for around 45 per cent of participants. The risk of PMS increased to 79 per cent for women who drank heavily.

“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a very common disorder worldwide which carries an important economic burden,” the online study reads.

“…Our results suggest that alcohol intake presents a moderate association with PMS risk.” 


According to the study around 30 per cent of females globally drink alcohol while 5.7 per cent of females are heavy drinkers, the figure is higher in The USA and Europe.  The review says that 60 per cent of women in Europe drink and 13 per cent are heavy drinkers.

Researchers estimated that 11 per cent of the PMS cases may be linked to alcohol intake around the world.

In Europe, researchers believe that around one in five PMS cases may be linked to alcohol consumption.

As drinking patterns vary widely between countries, the researchers calculated the content of ethanol in an average drink, using data on the consumption of beer, wine and spirits, specific to each country.

They defined a ‘low intake’ as drinking less than one standard drink a day (or consuming less than 10?grams of ethanol alcohol a day). Heavy drinking, in this study, was consuming around one or more drinks containing about 10 grams of ethanol.


Australian guidelines for alcohol consumption suggests healthy women drink no more than 2 standard drinks a day to reduce alcohol related harm over a lifetime but it isn’t clear  what amount of alcohol is safe to minimise PMS symptoms. Perhaps what makes the problem worse is that many women actually reach for alcohol to help cope with PMS.

Whether you’re a man or women concerned with alcohol related risks, it’s best to stick to the recommended guidelines (no more than 2 standard drinks daily).

Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) is one of the ways we aim to address excessive alcohol use. All servers and sellers of alcohol must complete mandatory RSA training to learn how to serve alcohol in a socially responsible way.  Find out more at

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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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