CDC Advises You to Not Drink Unless You Are Using Birth Control

If you are of childbearing age, 15 to 44, and not on birth control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said you should stop drinking.

Why? Because you are putting your hypothetical babies are at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.

In their report released on Tuesday, the CDC shared their findings which showed that per 100 school children in the U.S and some Western European countries, 2 to 5 have been affected by fetal alcohol syndrome – physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities that last a lifetime.

CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., said in a statement  “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. The risk is real. Why take the chance?”

They came to this conclusion after analysing data from 2011 to 2013 and finding that 3.3 million women drink, are sexually active, and are not using birth control,  therefore are “at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol if they were to become pregnant.”

While the contention surrounding whether it is safe to have a drink every so often has been around for years, the CDC reports that “There is no known safe amount of alcohol—even beer or wine—that is safe for a woman to drink at any stage of pregnancy.”

While their goal is to reduce cases of fetal alcohol syndrome, it is uncertain whether suggesting women lay off their daily Vino until they are on some form of contraception has done the trick.

Wanda Filer, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians spoke to USA today and said she hopes this report would encourage people to stop and thing, but she thinks that while some people will take this advice, others will not.


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