How Alcohol Effects Women’s Health

Whether you’re just having one or two drinks with dinner or are drinking to excess, alcohol has unique effects on women. Alcohol impacts us differently than men because we have different hormone levels, biology, social demands, and more. Let’s learn more about how alcohol affects a woman’s health.

Did you know that women are more vulnerable to alcohol’s harmful effects than men, even if they are drinking less? The following are some conditions that women especially should be aware of:

Liver disease

Liver disease is a common condition that is caused by alcoholism, but women are more susceptible than men. This could include hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and other liver conditions.

Brain Damage

Some researchers claim that women are more likely than men to experience adverse brain damage caused by alcohol, including loss of mental function and reduced brain size.

Bone Damage

Compared to women who only drink in moderation, women who drink in excess are more likely to develop osteoporosis, hip fractures, and other bone issues.

Prenatal Issues

We know by now that women shouldn’t drink while they’re pregnant, but even women who aren’t pregnant and suffer alcohol abuse or addiction are more likely to be infertile or experience miscarriage. Along with that, they may also have higher blood pressure and heart disease, two conditions that make carrying a healthy baby even harder.

Breast Cancer

There is a dangerous link between alcoholism and breast cancer. According to, “each additional 10 grams of alcohol (the amount in about one 4-oz glass of wine) per day raises the relative risk of developing breast cancer over a lifetime by about 10%.”

How Much is Too Much

The above concerns are for women who drink too much alcohol, but how much is too much? Obviously, women should be able to drink in moderation, just like men, and enjoy the social experience of cracking open a beer or pouring a crisp glass of wine.

The Dietary Guidelines in the United States define one drink as:

  • 12 ounces of beer with 5% ABV
  • 5 ounces of wine with 12% ABV
  • 5 ounces of spirits with 40% ABV

Then, they define moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. That being said, 60% of women in the US have at least one drink a year, but among women who drink, 13% have more than seven drinks per week. This is past the limit of moderate drinking, which is why we want to spread the word about how alcohol affects women’s’ health.

How to Drink Moderately

To avoid the above concerns and still have a good time, there are a number of ways to drink moderately without putting your health at as much risk. For example, when going out to dinner, limit yourself to one or two drinks. Or, promise you and your partner that you will only drink 3 or fewer days out of the week, rather than every day. Small changes like these can help you stay in control and limit your drinking.

We believe in living our healthiest, best lives and to do that, we help educate readers on how alcohol affects their health. Drinking in moderation will help you avoid some of the common conditions associated with drinking in excess.