During 1 h, median 976 mmol ethanol in 5.5% glucose was administered i.v. to six healthy female volunteers (aged 26-37 years) in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The median maximal blood ethanol concentration was median 33.5 mmol/1 and serum ethanol concentrations of 2 mmol/1 were reached after 8 h. Four of the women participated in a control experiment with infusion of an equal volume of glucose 5.5%. Venous blood samples were drawn 5 times during the 24-h follow up period. Serum concentrations of sex steroids and pituitary hormones decreased in both ethanol and control experiments and the results did not differ significantly. The lowest hormone concentrations were observed 1-5 h after the start of infusion. Oestradiol, oestrone and oestrone-sulphate concentrations decreased 24-46% compared to basal values. 5α-dihydro-testosterone levels decreased 23-31%, androstendione and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate levels decreased 6-48%, while testosterone levels did not change significantly. Prolactin concentrations were reduced by 41-51% of basal values and luteinizing hormone concentrations by 37-68%. Follicle stimulating hormone levels did not change significantly. Stress factors or haemodilution are not likely explanations of the observed changes in hormone concentrations. A circadian rhythm could not explain changes in hormones of non-adrenal origin.