Project Title

The relationship between alcohol consumption and the menstrual cycle in women

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ebony Glover

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The relationship between alcohol consumption and the menstrual cycle in women

Fathma Elgaydi, Olivia Lauzon, Jesse Edmond, Bianca Sarrecchia, Royce Alfred, Olivia Tyler, Ebony Glover

People typically overconsume alcohol during periods of high anxiety and stress. Women are disproportionately diagnosed with anxiety-related mental health disorders compared to men. Yet few studies have examined alcohol use in women and its implications for psychiatric illness. Once factor that is rarely examined in the context of alcohol consumption is the menstrual cycle. Low estrogen (follicular phase of the cycle) has been associated with heightened anxiety. However, previous research has shown that women consume more alcohol during the luteal phase (high estrogen phase) of their menstrual cycle. This is inconsistent with our prediction that women in the follicular phase would consume more alcohol due to their heightened anxiety state. The current study aims to further examine the relationship between the fluctuation of reproductive hormones across the menstrual cycle and alcohol consumption in women. In addition, fear-related behaviors will be examined in men compared to women across various stages of their reproductive cycle and levels of alcohol consumption. The Fear potentiated paradigm is used to measure participants’ startle responses during presentations of conditioned stimuli (CS) previously paired with aversive unconditioned stimuli (US) (danger condition), and during presentations of CSs never paired with USs (safety condition). Participants self-reported their amount of alcohol consumption using the Kreek-McHugh-Schluger-Kellog scale (KMSK scale) to quantify the frequency, duration, and amount of alcohol consumption. It is hypothesized that women in the follicular phase of their cycle will report higher alcohol consumption relative to women in the luteal phase, and show higher startle compared to other groups.

Project Type

Poster

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The relationship between alcohol consumption and the menstrual cycle in women

The relationship between alcohol consumption and the menstrual cycle in women

Fathma Elgaydi, Olivia Lauzon, Jesse Edmond, Bianca Sarrecchia, Royce Alfred, Olivia Tyler, Ebony Glover

People typically overconsume alcohol during periods of high anxiety and stress. Women are disproportionately diagnosed with anxiety-related mental health disorders compared to men. Yet few studies have examined alcohol use in women and its implications for psychiatric illness. Once factor that is rarely examined in the context of alcohol consumption is the menstrual cycle. Low estrogen (follicular phase of the cycle) has been associated with heightened anxiety. However, previous research has shown that women consume more alcohol during the luteal phase (high estrogen phase) of their menstrual cycle. This is inconsistent with our prediction that women in the follicular phase would consume more alcohol due to their heightened anxiety state. The current study aims to further examine the relationship between the fluctuation of reproductive hormones across the menstrual cycle and alcohol consumption in women. In addition, fear-related behaviors will be examined in men compared to women across various stages of their reproductive cycle and levels of alcohol consumption. The Fear potentiated paradigm is used to measure participants’ startle responses during presentations of conditioned stimuli (CS) previously paired with aversive unconditioned stimuli (US) (danger condition), and during presentations of CSs never paired with USs (safety condition). Participants self-reported their amount of alcohol consumption using the Kreek-McHugh-Schluger-Kellog scale (KMSK scale) to quantify the frequency, duration, and amount of alcohol consumption. It is hypothesized that women in the follicular phase of their cycle will report higher alcohol consumption relative to women in the luteal phase, and show higher startle compared to other groups.