Alcohol, Contraception and Preconception
Strategies For Reducing Alcohol Exposed Pregnancies
- Reducing alcohol using
- Increasing use of effective contraception
- Both reducing alcohol use and increasing use of effective contraception
Helping Women Prepare for Pregnancy
While 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, this means that 50% of pregnancies are planned. Service providers can help women to consider:
• What are the reasons I choose to drink?
• In what ways is alcohol a part of my life?
• How would I feel about not drinking at all at the next party I’m invited to?
• Do I associate drinking with smoking, eating, watching TV or other activities?
Can alcohol use affect fertility?
Emerging research suggests that alcohol use can have both short- and long-term effects of fertility.
• Light drinking (1-5 drinks a week) can reduce a woman’s chances of conceiving.
• Long-term heavy drinking can cause adult women to have irregular periods or stop ovulating, cause periods to stop altogether or lead to early menopause.
• Heavy drinkers who become pregnant are more likely to have miscarriages.
• Heavy drinking or binge drinking can lead to vomiting and reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills (emergency contraception is an option).
Click to download ‘Alcohol, Contraception and Preconception’ information sheet.
Created by and reproduced with kind permission from the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
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