Healthy Living

CDC Advises Young Women that are Not Using Birth Control to Avoid Alcohol

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By Angela Wills

According to the CDC, Women ages 15-44 who lead sexually active lives without the use of any kind of contraceptives should avoid alcohol altogether.

The adamant warning was issued on Tuesday in an effort to decrease the number of cases of (FAS) fetal alcohol syndrome.

Numbers reflect that at least half of all of the pregnancies that occur in the United States are not planned pregnancies. This translates to the idea that some or many women are possibly drinking while they are unknowingly pregnant for up to 6 weeks and in some cases longer.

The report issued informed that “Alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with a range of adverse reproductive outcomes and can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, characterized by lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities.”

According to a report issued by the CDC last September, 1 in 10 women who were pregnant in the United States admitted to drinking while they were pregnant, and almost a third of those who reported that they drank while pregnant also reported binge drinking.

Although, there are cases where women are knowingly pregnant and consume alcohol during some part of their pregnancy, it is not advisable. The CDC is taking steps to remind women that FAS is a serious issue that can be prevented if alcohol is not a part of the pregnancy.

However, because there are a number of sexually active women who are not on any method of birth control, the number of FAS cases is much greater in the United States. The easiest way to decrease this number is by encouraging women to not drink if they choose to participate in sexual activities without using contraceptives.

Principal Deputy Director of the CDC said, “Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant. About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.”

According to the CDC, no level of alcohol is known to be safe at any stage of a pregnancy. In fact, women are recommended to completely abstain from the consumption of alcohol while they are pregnant.

Alcohol can rapidly travel to the underdeveloped brain and liver of a fetus through the placenta, which could ultimately lead to FAS.

 

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