Alcohol and Vaginal Cancer Risk: Does Drinking Effect Risk?

Women may be concerned about drinking alcohol and vaginal cancer risk. However, drinking alcohol (wine, distilled spirits or beer) does not increase the risk of getting cancer of the vagina. That’s the conclusion of leading medical groups. They include the National Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology, CancerHelp UK, tand many others.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for cancer of the vaginal include these.

    • Age. It usually occurs after the age 60.
    • Smoking.
    • Radiation in the vaginal area.
    • Hysterectomy.
    • Infection with HPV.
    • Cervical cancer.
    • Pessary (a device to hold a sagging uterus) use
    • DES use by mother. That’s a drug often used by pregnant women between the late 1940s and 1971.


The symptoms of vaginal cancer include any of these.

    • Bleeding or discharge other than your period.
    • A lump in the vagina.
    • Pain during intercourse.
    • Pain in the pelvis.

Such symptoms may or may not be vaginal cancer. So see a doctor.

Reducing Risk

The risk of getting vaginal cancer can be reduced in a number of ways.

    • Getting a vaccine to prevent vaginal cancer among those nine to 26.
    • Not smoking.
    • Avoiding intercourse until late teens or older.
    • Having regular Pap tests.
    • Practicing safe sex.
    • Avoiding sex with multiple partners.
    • Not having sex with anyone who has had many partners.

Alcohol for Health

Drinking alcohol does not increase the risk of developing vaginal cancer. However, it is linked with better health and longer life. That’s in comparison with either not drinking or drinking heavily.

Drinking in moderation has been described by a federal agency. For women it’s having no more than three drinks on any day and an average of seven drinks each week.

A standard alcoholic drink is any of these.

    • alcohol and vaginal cancer risk12-ounce can or bottle of beer.
    • Five-ounce glass of dinner wine.
    • Shot (one and one-half ounces) of liquor or spirits. That’s vodka, whiskey,  rum , gin, etc.

Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of pure alcohol. It’s six-tents of one ounce.

No form of alcohol (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) gives more health or long life benefits than any other.

Resources on Alcohol and Vaginal Cancer Risk

Web Pages

Alcohol and Vulvar Cancer Risk.

Drinking and Women’s Health.

Alcohol and Fallopian Tube Cancer Risk.  

Moderate Drinking among Older Women. Health Effects.  

Drinking Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Alcohol and Health


Allen, D. and Green, G. Women and Cancer. Cork: BookBaby, 2018.   

Bell, K. Cancer Sourcebook for Women. Detroit: Omni, 2018.

CDC. Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers. Atlanta: CDC, 2009.

Elit, L. Women and Cancer. NY: Nova, 2007.

Hartman, L. and Loprinzi, C. Women’s Cancers. Rochester, MN: Mayo, 2007.

Jones, K. Cancer Sourcebook. Detroit: 2015.

 Medical Tests Sourcebook. Detroit: Omni, 2018

Omni. Women’s Health Concerns Sourcebook. Boston: Credo, 2018.     

Smith, J. and Del Priore, G.  Women’s Cancers. London: Imperial, 2016.

Turk, C. and Edel, M. The Book of Women’s Cancer. NY: Facts on File, 2009.


This website gives no advice about alcohol and vaginal cancer. Nor about any other matter.