Alcohol and pregnancy

Alcohol and pregnancy

One of the today’s problems is the increasing number of drinking and smoking women. The specific character of alcohol drinking among females is specified by the fact that woman’s organism gets used to alcohol far more quickly. The consequences for the woman’s health is someway more severe, than for the man’s. It is scientifically proved that the same quantity of alcohol affects central nervous system of females faster, and it induces the faster changes in their mentality and personality. Female alcoholics become the patients of mental health clinics more often, than male alcoholics.

The main rule for a woman – never try to drink on a par with a man. There is a considerable physiological difference between the two. To decompose alcohol organism needs water: the molecule of water builds in the molecule of alcohol, the piece of carbon gets separated from it, and alcohol turns into vinegar. A female’s organism contains 10 percent less water, than a male’s, so the equal dose of alcohol always produces the higher concentration of ethanol in the woman’s blood, than in the man’s, even if their height and weight are just the same. English investigators think that the amount of alcohol drinking by women and men must be normally in the ratio not more than 3:4.

Female sex hormones have an effect on the concentration of alcohol in blood. They decrease the concentration of enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in the stomach, accelerating the metabolism of alcohol in the liver at the same time. As a result alcohol decomposes more slowly by the women, but it affects hepatic cells much faster, so the hard-drinking women face a risk of hepatosis and other problems with the liver.

The doctors advise the women to be especially careful, drinking alcohol at the second part of menstrual cycle. Traditionally drinking females are proved to have increasing alcohol addiction at premenstrual period. By that they differ from the men, who don’t have the cyclic fluctuation of mood. Besides, before the menstruation alcohol absorbs faster from gastrointestinal tract into the blood, and it increases the toxic effect.

Alcohol is especially dangerous for prospective mothers. It may become the reason of menstrual irregularities, infertility and spontaneous abortion. Besides, alcohol may lead to breast cancer. It is very risky to drink alcohol during pregnancy. The consequences could be very serious. Even if alcohol has been taken during the first days or weeks and within normal limits, it could cause abnormalities in fetus development. Alcohol, taken by a pregnant woman, easily gets into the fetus organism and the amniotic fluid.

Being in his mother's womb, the fetus swallows this amniotic fluid and becomes affected by alcoholic intoxication. Besides, alcohol influences upon uteroplacental vessels, causing vasoconstriction. As a result the fetus doesn’t receive the necessary nutrients and oxygen. The fetal development gets slow, and sometimes it comes to death.

Alcohol has a negative impact on the fetal cells. The most sensitive are the cells of brain and nervous system. Alcohol abuse may lead to FAS (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome).

The main symptoms of FAS by a child are the following:

  1. Changes in the facial development (abnormalities of maxillofacial area, malar arch hypoplasia, mandibular bone hypoplasia, short-cut upper lip or dorsum of nose, narrow slits of the eyes);
  2. Physical development disorder (low weight at birth, lack body balance, too short or too tall height;
  3. Nervous system abnormalities (microcephaly – hypoplasia of brain and its separate parts, leading to some neurological and intellectual disorders, "spina bifida" – incomplete imperforation of the spinal canal);
  4. Maldevelopment of internals (valvular defects of the heart, defects of externalia, joints etc).

If the woman drinks alcohol during the breast feeding, all these manifestations grow worse. It is proved that besides the negative influence on an infant, alcohol also decreases the quantity of proteins in milk, making it less nourishing.

The most fearful is that consequences of FAS are irreversible and insusceptible to medical treatment. Therefore the pregnant women are recommended to exclude alcohol from their food allowance, because we can’t possibly know, what organ or function of fetus will be affected by alcohol at the moment.

The men should remember that women become drunkards much easier due to their neurophysiology. The area of neurons responsible for emotions such as sadness, sorrow, depression is 8 times more by women rather than by men. Females can much easier fall into depression with such amount of active neurons. This quality of brain tissue of the women becomes the reason of early development of chronic alcoholism.

Moral degradation among female alcoholics develops 3-5 times faster, than among the males.

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