Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageCDC warning to women: Don't drink if you're not on birth control

By Karen Graham     Feb 4, 2016 in Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a press release earlier this week that warned women of child-bearing age about the dangers of drinking alcohol when they may be pregnant, unless they were on birth control.
At least, that's the way the message seemed to come out to many in the news media, especially when they focused on the second part of the press release. They jumped on the message like a duck on a June bug.
The secondary part of the report warned women who aren't trying to get pregnant that alcohol could harm a fetus if they accidentally did get pregnant. Many in the media construed this to mean that women shouldn't drink at all unless they were on birth control, according to the Huffington Post.
The CDC press release estimated "3.3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 years of age are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol if they are sexually active, drinking and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy."
The point the CDC was apparently trying to make is really simple. Almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, but even if they are planned, women may not know they are pregnant for at least a month or more after conception. If any of these women drink alcohol, they could be inadvertently harming their baby, writes Newser.
The CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities analyzed data from the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth. Estimates on alcohol-exposed pregnancy were calculated among 4,303 non-pregnant, non-sterile women ages 15–44 years.
“Every woman who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant – and her partner – want a healthy baby. But they may not be aware that drinking any alcohol at any stage of pregnancy can cause a range of disabilities for their child,” said Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
The CDC's warning is just that, a warning. It makes perfect sense for women of child-bearing age to know the risks associated with drinking alcohol when there is the possibility of getting pregnant. This means that if a woman drinks, and if she has intercourse, she should practice safe sex or use some form of birth control to avoid the possibility of getting pregnant and harming her unborn child.
More about cdc press release, fetal alcohol syndrome, Pregnancy, drinking alcohol, Birth control
More news from