Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 773–781 | Cite as

The relationship between alcohol consumption and menstrual cycle: a review of the literature

  • Haley A. CarrollEmail author
  • M. Kathleen B. Lustyk
  • Mary E. Larimer
Review Article


Alcohol use affects men and women differently, with women being more affected by the health effects of alcohol use (NIAAA, 2011). Yet, a dearth of information investigating the alcohol use in women exists (SAMSHA, 2011). In particular, one dispositional factor hypothesized to contribute to alcohol consumption in women is the menstrual cycle. However, only 13 empirical papers have considered the menstrual cycle as related to alcohol consumption in women. These studies fall out with somewhat mixed findings suggesting that the premenstrual week is associated with increased, decreased, or no change in alcohol consumption, likely due to methodological differences in menstrual cycle determination and measures of alcohol consumption. These methodological differences and possible other contributing factors are discussed here with recommendations for future research in this area. Understanding the contribution of the menstrual cycle to alcohol consumption is one step in addressing an important women’s health concern.


Alcohol consumption Menstrual cycle Women Women’s health 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haley A. Carroll
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Kathleen B. Lustyk
    • 1
  • Mary E. Larimer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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