Fertility Treatment and Drinking

If you are an alcoholic woman, there is a statement recommending that your fertility doctor enforce “lifestyle changes” before you are eligible for continued fertility treatments.

As we have often written in our blog, we think that alcoholism is a disease that warrants humane treatment.  Life in general is not kind to those of us who become addicted to alcohol or any substance.  Men and women who struggle with addiction often struggle through bouts of unemployment, depression, prison terms, and institutionalization.

Another Obstacle for Alcoholic Drinkers

The latest news we’re learning about is the restriction of Fertility Treatment for women who abuse alcohol.

A recent statement released by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHE) recommends enforcing “lifestyle changes” for certain women who drink more than a moderate amount in order to justify enhancing their likelihood to bear children.

The logic behind the recommendation is based on years of data that shows unequivocally that:

•    mothers who drink during pregnancy risk a slew of negative effects on their unborn child (including fetal alcohol syndrome, retardation, and deformity)

•    children who grow up in alcoholic homes suffer a higher likelihood of depression, criminal behavior and many other negative effects

Not to mention that children of abusive drinkers are three times as likely to become alcoholics themselves (especially in the case of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).

The Ethics of Restricting Treatment

The ESHE study also includes recommendations to bar fertility enhancements for women who smoke and/or are obese.  We cannot argue against these types of recommendations because they have been made to protect infants and babies in the womb who are defenseless.

Addiction professionals like those at our treatment center can only hope that when doctors or health care providers are making decisions about denying women the right to increase their chances of becoming a mother, they do so with the right knowledge and tools at their disposal.

Women for whom drinking, drug use, smoking, and even compulsive overeating have become addictive behaviors are no longer merely “making bad choices” but are caught in the grasp of a biological, psychological, and social disease that requires supportive and intensive therapeutic treatment before the women can begin to live their lives in recovery.

Getting Treatment – Asking for Help is the First Step

Whether or not it is you or someone you care about who needs to address their addictive substance abuse or eating disorder, the prospect of confronting addiction can be overwhelming.  Picking up the phone and asking the help of a professional is the first step and everything is spelled out and becomes easier from that point.  We urge you to place an anonymous and confidential call to our team of intake counselors in order to start the healing and receive guidance on how to end the destruction and begin healing.

Click here to read more about alcohol abuse.

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