For many, alcohol is considered a large part of socializing and a way of relaxing. But, when do we recognize that a quiet drink on the weekend has turned into a more frequent occurrence? Can alcohol affect the way your body feels and functions? More specifically, does alcohol affect progesterone levels?
If you or someone you care about experiences health concerns as a result of alcohol consumption, seeking help is crucial for getting you or your loved one back on track. AspenRidge Recovery Centers can provide assistance and information to help you understand AUD. Contact us today at 855-281-5588.
Recognizing that a habit has gone too far can be difficult. We often become aware of alcohol issues when we see the way it begins to affect our bodies.
Moderate alcohol consumption can have drastic consequences on the body.
The way alcohol interacts with the body affects critical functions such as impacting the balance of hormone levels. A hormone of particular concern when it comes to alcohol consumption is progesterone. How exactly does alcohol affect progesterone levels?
Progesterone and Alcohol Tolerance
We all have our own ways of unwinding and de-stressing at the end of a long day. For many, a go-to method of relaxation is alcohol. The psychoactive drug promotes stress alleviation–even if only temporarily–and a feeling of euphoria. This along with its accessibility make it easy to misuse. With time, ongoing alcohol consumption can lead to higher tolerance levels and even full blown substance addiction. Learn more about how the brain controls addiction here.
Alcohol and Progesterone
Progesterone and alcohol tolerance are just the start. Did you know that the consumption of alcohol has quite a complex interaction with the body? Classified as a depressant, the intake of alcohol interacts with the nervous system causing parts of the brain to slow down. This interaction consequently leads to affecting other areas of the body’s functioning such as altering hormone levels.
Alcohol and progesterone are related in the sense that alcohol consumption is associated with increasing the levels of estrogen in the body and decreasing levels of progesterone. After quitting alcohol, how long it takes for hormones in the body to balance will differ from person to person as it depends on how long and how often a person has used alcohol. However, studies have shown that after quitting alcohol, it may take months or even years for your body’s hormone levels to readjust. Even then, some damage caused may be permanent.
Impact Of Alcohol On Hormone Levels
So, does alcohol affect progesterone levels? The short answer is: yes. One of the most significant hormones that the consumption of alcohol affects is progesterone. The excessive intake of alcohol critically decreases levels of progesterone in the body.
What Is Progesterone?
Progesterone is characterized as a sex hormone that contributes to the processes of fertility and menstruation. Progesterone is a hormone that is secreted after ovulation. It’s the hormone that’s responsible for preparing the endometrium for a potential pregnancy after ovulation by thickening the lining to accept a fertilized egg. The maintenance and regulation of hormone levels such as progesterone are critical in the smooth running of natural processes such as the menstrual cycle.
Alcohol and Fertility
According to the National Institute of Health, alcohol and fertility are directly related. They found that there is a 30-50% increased risk of getting breast cancer as a result of moderate alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption can have a drastic negative effect on reproductive health and fertility in women. The reduction of critical hormones such as progesterone can have critical long-term effects.
The result of a decrease in progesterone can be critical for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women:
- In premenopausal women, it can cause problems of infertility and health complications with reproductive organs.
- In postmenopausal women, it can cause an increase in the severity of menopause symptoms.
How Alcohol Affects Male & Female Hormones
Alcohol consumption affects both male and female sex hormones. Its interaction with hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can have negative effects on the reproductive system.
How Does Alcohol Affect Female Hormones
For women, the excessive consumption of alcohol can have negative effects, especially for premenopausal women. Alcohol intake causes an increase in the production of estrogen and a decrease in progesterone levels. The result is women experiencing symptoms of irregular menstruation or periods stopping completely which is known as amenorrhea.
The consumption can also have more severe effects as it:
- Increases the risk of breast cancer and endometriosis
- Increases the risk of experiencing fertility issues, miscarriages and having birth defects such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
How Does Alcohol Affect Male Hormones
The impact of excessive alcohol consumption for men can result in the reduction of testosterone levels and the increase of estrogen levels. The alteration of these sex hormones in men can critically impact the reproductive system. In doing so, alcohol intake can alter the sperm’s structure, functioning, and development, which can cause fertility issues. The decrease in testosterone levels in young men can significantly impact their development and growth as it impacts the development of bones and muscles during the stages of puberty.
Excessive alcohol intake affects more than just hormone balance, impacting physical and mental health as well as impacting those close to the person dealing with substance misuse. Learn more about alcohol misuse here.
How Can AspenRidge Help?
If you or someone you care about are having difficulty cutting back or experiencing symptoms of the effects of alcohol abuse, AspenRidge can help. AspenRidge offers care to those looking to find sobriety and wanting a life away from alcohol. At AspenRidge, we provide a range of treatment programs that offer the support and guidance you need to help you make changes for the better. Our programs use evidence-based treatment that is designed to help you address and overcome the alcohol use disorder. We also provide support to help you recognize and deal with any underlying trauma or mental health issues that may contribute to substance use. We offer continuous support and counseling for clients and their families. Find out more about dual diagnosis here.
If you’re not sure about which program may be right for you or the person you care about, our admissions counselors are on hand to talk 7 days a week to help you choose the best program for you. Call us now at 855-281-5588 to get started today.