Alcohol, Contraception and Preconception

Strategies for Reducing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies

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Preconception Care: 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)

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Click here to download the information sheet.