TEEN HEALTH Published February4, 2016 By Antara Dutta Choudhury

Sexually Active Women, Give Up Alcohol Or Use Contraceptive

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Sexually Active Women, Give Up Alcohol Or Use Contraceptive
(Photo : Ian Waldie / Getty Images) Centre For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report recommends sexually active women to either abstain from alcohol or use contraceptives for preventing birth defects in infants.

About 3 million women in the US expose their babies to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders caused due to alcohol consumption by the mothers. This figure was in accordance with the data gathered from the National Survey of Family Growth 2011-2013 on women who aged 15 to 44 had unprotected sex and consumed alcohol.

The survey found that about half of pregnancies in the US are unplanned and women do not know that they are pregnant until the first month.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition caused due to alcohol intake by pregnant mothers during the pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome can have range of complications such as low borth weight, cardiac problems in infants, problems with brain and other organs, hyperactivity, etc. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can also have serious implications such as miscarriages, sudden infant death syndrome, and still birth.

CDC report suggests that about one in 20 children in US suffer from fetal alcohol spectrum syndrome disorder.

Alcohol is absorbed by our body at a much faster rate and transmits through various organs. It can get inside the fetus and interferes with cell growth and induce nerve cell damage during the fetus development.

The nerve damage can also be a factor for mild to moderate retardation in children. This implication is severe among children of alcoholic mothers. Although studies have seen that the consequences of light drinking are not very severe in children, however, experts do not give any acceptance to a safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Denis Viljoen, chairman of the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research in South Africa, stated that approximately 1-2 percent of global birth defects are caused due to fetal alcohol syndrome, reported Pix 11.

He also mentioned about 80 percent of the children with the syndrome go undiagnosed.

Health officials suggest that women must speak to their healthcare provider about their pregnancy and alcohol use and those who are planning a pregnancy must quit alcohol.

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