We are not aware of any scientific studies about whether hormone therapies change the effects of alcohol on mood.
However, we do know from one experimental study that drinking alcohol while taking transdermal estradiol (estrogen patches) slows the metabolism of estradiol, which means that estradiol levels rise rapidly (3x increase within 50 minutes) because they are not being cleared from the body at their normal rate. In the same study, taking estrogen did not influence the rate of alcohol metabolism.
Given these findings, it seems possible (though not proven) that estrogens could alter the impact of alcohol on mood and other important outcomes (e.g. cancer risk).
We recommend that individuals in surgical menopause follow conservative guidelines for alcohol consumption, limiting alcohol intake to (at most) 1 unit of alcohol per day.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse or addiction that is upsetting you or interfering with your life, rest assured that you are not alone-- addiction risk increases in the menopause, and many people struggle more with substance abuse during this time. We strongly encourage you to seek medical and/or psychological treatment for this complex problem. Consider telling a trusted doctor, therapist, or friend, and ask for practical support for finding a treatment that works for you. Addiction treatment requires long-term support, and usually benefits from a combination of biological and psychological therapies.
Visit www.iapmd.org/surgery for lots of evidence-based information and resources for those considering, going through or recovering from surgery for PMDD/PME.