Substance use support through Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Women who are trying to conceive while struggling with substance use disorders have a unique set of needs, and if they’re already pregnant, they’ll need even more specialized care. Drugs and alcohol directly affect fetal development, so if you’re trying for a baby or are pregnant, it’s important to seek help as soon as you are able.

What are the risks of substance use on fertility and pregnancy?

For women who are trying to conceive, drugs and alcohol can have negative effects on their menstrual cycle, egg quality, ovarian weight, and hormonal concentration, all of which make it much harder for women to conceive.

During pregnancy, a mother and her developing baby share a bloodstream, meaning that substances are shared between mother and child. A developing baby doesn’t have enough enzymes yet to constantly detoxify their blood. Repeated exposure can lead to an elevated risk for various forms of stunted development, stillbirth, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).

Getting help for substance use disorders may seem scary, but the effects of substances make seeking support incredibly important.

Your benefits

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care partners with Optum to help members like you access resources and treatment for a wide range of issues, including substance use disorders.

If you think you need help but aren’t sure where to begin, you can start by calling Harvard Pilgrim’s Behavioral Health Access Center (888) 777-4742 to speak confidentially with a licensed clinician.  You can also tap to read about substance use disorders and treatment or call the Substance Use Treatment Hotline at (855) 780-5955.

Find the Ovia app for you!
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store