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November 14, 1977

Chronic Alcohol Consumption and Menstruation

JAMA. 1977;238(20):2143. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280210035008

To the Editor.—  Research efforts have only recently begun to unravel ethanol's effect on endocrine functions and sexual behavior. It is disturbing that this information is largely confined to the male alcoholic and problem drinker, as approximately 4% of American women have severe drinking problems.1 There are known alcohol-related endocrinologic and sexual dysfunctions in male alcoholics with and without overt liver disease.2 It is likely that alcoholrelated endocrinologic dysfunction also occurs in female alcoholics, for many of the hormonal systems involved are not unique to men, eg, estrone, estradiol. Experiments presently underway by the author and collaborators in the Division of Intramural Research of the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse have found that an intragastric dosage of ethanol, 8 g/kg/day, will block the normal estrus cycle in 80% of rats exposed.

Report of Cases.—  Two middle-class women were seen for inpatient detoxication and rehabilitation. They were