Nearly half of adult women in the United States report they have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Though alcohol can help people relax, wind down and enjoy themselves, even casual, infrequent drinkers should be aware of how it affects their hormones and menstrual cycle, so they can avoid any undue risks or issues.

Defining drinking levels

Some people define moderate drinking as having an occasional drink once or twice per month, while others may define it as the number of drinks they can have without becoming intoxicated. With regard to heavy drinking, some folks define it as having multiple drinks per day, while others may define it as binge drinking on weekends.

Experts define moderate and heavy drinking more specifically. For women, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sets moderate drinking as up to one drink per day, while heavy