Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CDC Recommends No Alcohol Without Birth Control

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that women of reproductive age (roughly 15-44) who are not on birth control should not drink ANY alcohol, ever. That may be a tough sell. Many women of reproductive age do not have easy access to birth control; in most states it is available only by a doctor's prescription.

The new recommendation is based on the knowledge that no amount of alcohol is safe for the fetus; alcohol can cause several types of permanent damage to the fetus, collectively called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Many pregnancies are unplanned, and the woman may not know she is pregnant for 4-6 weeks. These 4-6 weeks are critical when it comes to the possible damage done by alcohol.

Waiting to stop drinking until you know you are pregnant is just asking for trouble. If you want to drink and don't want to take a chance of damaging your future child, get on birth control until you're ready to give up alcohol for nine months.

For more, review the CDC web page on the subject.

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