Substance use disorder: contraceptive options counseling

What’s New in Contraception?

Contraceptive Technology Conference!

Biologic sexism of STIs

Excess breast cancer deaths after COVID-19

Contraception for patients with medical conditions

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Treating vulvodynia

Puzzling Over the Hurt Down-Under

Serious Mental Illness and Contraception

New 13-Cycle Vaginal Contraceptive System

The Future of Family Planning in Post-COVID America

New ASCCP Guidelines: Implications for FP

On the alert: mood disorders during 2020 stressors

Sex in the Time of COVID-19

Challenges old and new during the pandemic

Reproductive health in the time of Covid-19

Talking about toys

Missed Pills: The Problem That Hasn’t Gone Away

Find the “yes! . . . and” rather than “no” or “but”

Digital Family Planning: the Future is Now

Irregular Bleeding Due to Contraceptives

When she’s low on libido…

Ouch! Best approaches to menstrual pain

Contraceptive efficacy: understanding how user and method characteristics play their part

Strategizing treatment for chronic heavy menstrual bleeding


Untangling the literature on obesity and contraception

High tech apps for no-tech FABM

Menstrual exacerbation of other medical conditions

From Princeton University: Thomas James Trussell (1949-2018)

The Short and Long of IUD Use Duration

Selecting a Method When Guidance Isn’t Clear-cut

Healthcare in the Time of Digital Expansion

The Scoop on Two New FDA-Approved Contraceptive Methods

Pregnancy of unknown location—meeting the challenge

Big “yes” (with caveats) to CHCs during perimenopause

The role of IUDs (LNG IUDs, too!) in emergency contraception

Combined pills’ effect on mood disorders

Abortion in the U.S.: safe, declining, and under threat

Hope for ovarian cancer screening test

Breast cancer still a small risk with some hormonal contraceptives

New treatment modality for BV

Record rate of HPV-related throat cancer

Viruses in semen potentially transmissible

Don’t Abstain from Your Role in Abstinence

Teens births declining but geographic ‘hotspots’ defy trend

Online Medical Abortion Service Effective and Safe

Do Women Really Need to Wait That Long?

Reassuring news on depression and OC use

PMDD: Genetic clues may lead to improved treatment

Breast cancer risk when there is a family history

Body weight link to breast and endometrial cancers (and 11 others)

Family Planning in 2017 and Beyond

Make Me Cry: Depression Link (Again)?

Managing implant users’ bleeding and spotting

Zika: Updated guidance for providers

Pharmacist-prescribed contraceptives

Hot off the press! 2016 MEC and SPR

Zika virus fears prompt increased request for abortion in nations outlawing abortions

Opioid use epidemic among reproductive-age women

Good news on the family planning home front!

War Against Planned Parenthood Hurts Women

Win-win for both treatment and prevention

Center of the Storm


Menopause, mood, mental acuity, and hormone therapy

Emergency contraception for teens

Postpartum Contraception: Now, Not Later

Reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, or sexually transmitted diseases: “a rose by any other name…”

Are we practicing what we preach?

Be alert to VTE in hormonal contraceptive users

LARC among teens increased 15-fold, but not enough

Brain cancer and hormonal contraception

Free tools: Easy access to the US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

Alcohol consumption when pregnancy is unwanted or unintended

Latest Data on Contraceptive Use in the United States

LateBreaker sampler from Contraceptive Technology conference

Emergency Contraceptive Pill Efficacy and BMI/Body Weight

Handout on Unintended Pregnancy and Contraceptive Choice

Ask About Withdrawal (Really!)

Rules to Practice By: Safety First and Cleanliness is Close to. . .

What’s Vanity Fair Got Against the NuvaRing?

Promising New Treatment for Hepatitis C

Numbers matter, so make them simple for patients

The Recession’s Effect on Unintended Pregnancies

Lessons Learned from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project: The Hull LARC Initiative

Applying the “New” Cervical Cytology Guidelines in Your Practice

Acute Excessive Uterine Bleeding: New Management Strategies

Medical indications for IUD use in teens

Whatever happened to PID?

Update on Emergency Contraception New and Improved

Alcohol consumption when pregnancy is unwanted or unintended
February 2015


More than 1 in 4 births in the United States are unintended. Some of these are unwanted, even to the point of seeking termination yet being unable to do so. Yet despite having a pregnancy that is unplanned or unwanted, most women who find themselves in this situation nonetheless quit or reduce their alcohol consumption.

In the first study of its kind, researchers followed 956 women who sought to terminate their pregnancies across 30 sites in the United States and compared them with women who had wanted their pregnancies. About half of all women in the study drank alcohol in the month before they realized they were pregnant. It was reassuring however, that women with unwanted pregnancies appeared to consume about the same amount of alcohol as pregnant women over all.  Once the women with unwanted pregnancies learned they were pregnant, they seemed to follow the behaviors common among other pregnant women: they reduced or quit drinking. Among the 182 women denied termination, 71% quit and 14% reduced drinking.

In an intriguing twist, though, a subgroup of women increased their drinking, apparently substituting alcohol for drug use. It could be that the women using drugs believed that alcohol was a less harmful exposure to a developing fetus, noted the researchers. Ironically, however, maternal alcohol use during early pregnancy is associated with greater harm to the fetus than is marijuana use. Women who drink in early pregnancies deliver babies with lower birthweight. In contrast, marijuana use during pregnancy has not been shown to be associated with fetal harm.

One fourth of the women with unwanted pregnancies had had high rates of binge drinking—at least 6 drinks in a single session, reaching a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent—before they recognized that they were pregnant.  These women were also more likely to use tobacco products, have a history of being physical assaulted, and have earned a college degree. These women were also more likely to continue to drink, even binge drink during their pregnancies, than were women who had not binged. About 5 percent had reported having blackouts during their binge drinking episodes in the month before learning they were pregnant.

A woman who drinks heavily during pregnancy puts her fetus at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome and other spectrum disorders, including growth disorders, birth defects, and cognitive and behavioral impairment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that pregnant women abstain from any alcohol. The agency makes the same recommendation to sexually active women who are not using birth control and therefore at risk of pregnancy.


Roberts SC, Wilsnack SC, Foster DG, Delucchi KL. Alcohol use before and during unwanted pregnancy. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 2014;38:2844-52.

Nykjaer C, Alwan NA, Greenwood DC, et al. Maternal alcohol intake prior to and during pregnancy and risk of adverse birth outcomes: evidence from a British cohort. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2014;68:542-9. doi: 10.1136/jech-2013-202934

 –Deborah Kowal, MA, PA, President & CEO, Contraceptive Technology Communications, Inc.