It can happen to anyone. Maybe you weren’t trying to get pregnant, but now your period is late and you can’t stop thinking about the drinks you enjoyed with your partner last Saturday. Maybe a friend told you that it’s ok to have a glass of wine (or two) early in pregnancy. Whatever your situation, you may be worried about the risks associated with drinking during pregnancy.
You’ve probably got a lot of serious questions running through your mind right now. You don’t have to sit in uncertainty. Mid Cities Women’s Clinic is here to answer your questions without judgment! Today, we’re exploring what can happen if you drink alcohol early in and during pregnancy.
Can Alcohol Affect a Pregnancy Test?
If you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms, the first thing you need to do is take a pregnancy test. If you’ve been drinking recently, you may be wondering if the alcohol in your system could affect your results.
The short answer is no—alcohol itself doesn’t affect pregnancy test results, but it can cause dehydration, which will make you want to drink more water. Excess water can dilute your urine, making it difficult for the pregnancy test to detect your hCG levels, resulting in an inaccurate reading. If you’ve been drinking recently, you may want to allow your fluid intake to return to normal before taking a pregnancy test so you can get accurate results.
Don’t want to take the first step alone? Consider visiting Mid Cities Women’s Clinic! We offer free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds so that you can confirm your pregnancy in a confidential, compassionate environment.
What if I Drank Before I Knew I Was Pregnant?
Research shows that light drinking early in pregnancy is unlikely to cause any harm! However, you need to stop drinking immediately once you confirm that you’re pregnant. The sooner you stop drinking, the healthier your baby will be! Be sure to bring up any concerns to your doctor and attend regular prenatal checkups to monitor the health and development of your pregnancy.
How Much Alcohol Can You Drink While Pregnant?
Although a small amount of alcohol early in pregnancy isn’t usually a big concern, it’s crucial to stop, in order to prevent any problems from developing. There is no “safe amount” of alcohol to drink while pregnant. Even if you don’t drink often, a lot at one time can be very risky. Additionally, there’s no “safe kind” of alcohol to drink while pregnant—this includes beer, wine, and mixed drinks. The best thing to do is to avoid alcohol altogether for the rest of your pregnancy.
Research shows that alcohol tends to be the most dangerous when consumed during the first three months of pregnancy, but drinking at any point during pregnancy is still very dangerous.
Can Drinking Alcohol Cause a Miscarriage? How Much Alcohol Causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
Drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to severe consequences. For example, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage. Drinking heavily (more than 2 drinks a day) increases the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.
These conditions are totally preventable if a baby isn’t exposed to alcohol before birth. If you want to maintain a healthy pregnancy but can’t stop drinking, there are ways to get help! Contact your doctor or local alcohol treatment center to get started.
Can I Drink if I’m Planning on Getting an Abortion?
You should still avoid alcohol even if you’re considering abortion. Alcohol thins the blood, which can interfere with your body’s ability to clot and control bleeding. Drinking before or after an abortion increases the risk of excessive bleeding, which would require emergency treatment.
Before you decide, we encourage you to explore all of your pregnancy options and receive an ultrasound before an abortion. This will help you to make the most informed decision for your health and future!
Free Pregnancy Services in Euless, TX
We get it—an unplanned pregnancy can be stressful enough without the fear that something has already gone wrong. You aren’t in this alone. Mid Cities Women’s Clinic provides free pregnancy services so that you can get the care and support you deserve!
Please be aware that Mid Cites Women’s Clinic does not provide or refer for abortion services.
- Common foods and drinks: What can affect a pregnancy test result? Clearblue. (2022, September 29). Retrieved from https://www.clearblue.com/pregnancy-tests/what-can-affect-a-pregnancy-test-result#
- Alcohol and Women. ACOG | American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2021, December). Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/alcohol-and-women
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2022, January 10). Alcohol and pregnancy. MedlinePlus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007454.htm
- Alcohol and Pregnancy Questions and Answers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, November 14). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/faqs.html
- Ballard, H. S. (1997). The Hematological Complications of Alcoholism. Alcohol Health and Research World. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826798/#