Thursday, February 4, 2016

CDC to women: Have sex or wine. Not both

Sex or wine? Women have to choose
Women, how would you most like to spend your 20s and 30s: drinking wine, or having sex at least occasionally? You have to choose, according to the CDC.

The Centers for Disease Control released a report this week with the following jaw-dropping language:
Healthcare providers should ... advise (women) not to drink at all if she is pregnant, trying to get pregnant, sexually active, and not using birth control.
I'm a guy, so maybe I'm not seeing this the right way. In my 20s I wasn't always sure when I was sexually active.

I always wanted to be sexually active, and sometimes one meets attractive potential partners in places where alcohol is served. So what is one supposed to do at a party: quickly size up the available gene pool and decide, Margaritas or making out? Chardonnay or cuddles? Sex on the Beach or sex in a comfortable bed?

European women generally scoff at American doctors' prudish attitudes about drinking alcohol during pregnancy, which I think is a liability issue: nobody wants to tell a woman she can enjoy a glass of wine during pregnancy, even though Italian and French women do, because what if the kid grows up to have birth defects or be Donald Trump?

But this seems to be going pretty far, even for a reactionary country that once banned alcohol for more than a decade.

Like I said, though, I'm a guy. This seems like patriarchal prudishness, but maybe it's a legitimate health concern. Women, what do you think? Which would you rather have: sex or wine?

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Being Merry said...

It's ridiculous.

Joe Janish said...

But don't we drink wine in the hopes it leads to sex?

Maybe they mean not to drink wine WHILE having sex ... red wine stains are difficult to remove from white sheets, after all.

Andy said...

This is one of those where its all in the perspective. The CDC is correct, there is no know "safe" level of alcohol exposure at any point during pregnancy and a women who is having sex and not using birth control (either her or her male partner) is by definition trying to get pregnant therefore she should abstain from alcohol in this circumstance. Now, the reality is that most women stop drinking when they find out they are pregnant (typically 2-4 weeks after conception or 4 to 6 week from the last menstrual period) and some continue to have the "special occasion" glass of wine etc during their pregnancy. The odds of this level of exposure producing untoward effects in the developing fetus (like fetal alcohol syndrome) are very, very low but it is not 0% (hence the CDC recommendation). Ultimately, whether to abstain is a decision only the women and her partner can make. Personally, I think complete abstinence from alcohol starting with unprotected intercourse is a bit much because the odds of a problem are so low. I would suggest completely abstaining during the first trimester and have a glass or 2 of really, really good wine a month for the remainder of the pregnancy. Full disclosure -- I am a former obstetrician so I have some knowledge about this. Also, fun OB fact...we used to treat pre term labor up until the 1980s with IV alcohol. Go figure (according the old nurses when I was resident...its was pretty fun to be on the ward for those infusions!)

W. Blake Gray said...

Thanks, Andrew. Very relevant information.

Unknown said...

I'd rather have wine, thank you, but I'm pretty for from my 20's. So how about men using birth control and drinking alcohol?