Menu Close

Addiction Recovery Blog

How Alcohol Affects the Bodies of Women vs. Men

A woman drinking alcohol at home

For both men and women, drinking alcohol is almost like chasing a certain feeling or state of mind. You might drink to feel more confident, sophisticated or to have this special feeling that makes you feel complete. Once alcohol makes you feel this way, it’s not uncommon to want to feel that way again.

Like a teapot on the stove, that pressure or craving continues to build, and you might go back to drinking to have those feelings again. But continued drinking makes your body pay a price. And while alcohol addiction doesn’t discriminate, the effect it has on the body differs depending on your gender.

Why is this important? Just a couple decades ago, it wasn’t as socially acceptable for women to drink as it today. And as alcohol consumption for women increases, it’s important to take a look at its affects. In this post we’re going to explore how alcohol affects the bodies of women vs. men.

The Physical Differences Between Men and Women

To understand how alcohol affects the bodies of women vs. men, we need to take a look at the physiological differences. It’s no surprise that on average, women are smaller than men. Why does that matter? Well it means that women have less water in their body. Less water means that women are naturally going to have higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood when compared to men.

Everyone’s body has a natural enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. Its job is to help the body break down alcohol before it reaches the bloodstream. Men produce more of this enzyme than women. Which means when women drink, more of the alcohol reaches their bloodstream.

3 Unique Ways on How Alcohol Affects Women’s Bodies

1. Alcohol Can Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer for Women

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among women. Alcohol can increase your body’s production of estrogen. Which ups the risk of hormone-receptor positive breast cancer. That’s when cancer cells grow due to increased hormone production. And about 80% of breast cancer cases are hormone-receptor positive.

2. Alcohol Can Have a Negative Impact on Your Fertility

Heavy or binge drinking can affect your fertility as a woman. Alcohol abuse has been shown to disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle in some cases. Binge drinking can also lower the sex drive in women. Since one in every two women who drink are of child-bearing age, it’s important for women to know this information.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, you should try to not drink any alcohol. Drinking even a small amount can reduce your chances of conceiving. While alcohol also has an impact on men’s fertility, the risk it poses to women are more severe.

3. Alcohol and Pregnancy

Alcohol and pregnancy aren’t a problem that men have to worry about. But for women who are pregnant, there is plenty of conflicting information out there. When you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t drink alcohol. While very small amounts haven’t been linked to complication, regular alcohol consumption is a different story.

Drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant poses a variety of risk for the baby, one of the most dangerous being Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can create a variety of severe health problems such as:

  • Heart and spine defects
  • Kidney and bone issues
  • Low body weight
  • Head and brain defects

Alcohol Addiction in Women

The fact is that more women are drinking now than ever before. In fact, according to the Centers of Disease Control, 12% of adult women report binge drinking at least three times per month. Due to some of the points we mentioned earlier, women on average become dependent on alcohol.

What’s concerning, is that according to a new study, women are less likely to seek treatment for alcohol addiction than men. The truth is that face some additional barriers to treatment. From family responsibilities and pressures to being unable to afford treatment, many women aren’t getting the help they need.

One solution to this issue is gender specific alcohol addiction treatment. Alcohol effects men and women differently. And treatment that address the unique struggles for women can help break down the stigma of addiction.

Women’s Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Footprints Beachside Recovery

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we’ve been through addiction ourselves and understand the unique challenges women face. That’s why our alcohol addiction treatment program is gender specific. It allows us to work with you to address the specific issues that contribute to your alcohol abuse.

You’ll be offered a private separate living space just for women to make your healing process more comfortable. Our licensed therapists lead women empowerment groups to support your recovery.

If you’re a woman suffering from an alcohol addiction, it’s common to feel isolated. But you’re not alone and there is hope for lasting recovery. Our women-specific therapy group gives you the opportunity break free from the grip of addiction.

Contact Us to Get Started on Your Healing Journey

If you’re a woman looking for alcohol addiction treatment, don’t wait any longer. Footprints Beachside Recovery is here to walk alongside you during your recovery journey. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help.

Have Questions? We're here to help.

(727) 954-3908