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A U.S. study says women who have more than five alcoholic drinks at one sitting are at increased risk of having unsafe sex and contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Researchers at John Hopkins University medical school in Baltimore looked at the correlation between binge drinking and risky sexual behaviors in women.

They interviewed patients at an urban clinic for sexually transmitted infections to explore the link.

In their study, the researchers found that women who binge drink are at increased risk of practicing unsafe sex, including having multiple partners and engaging in anal sex, leading to high rates of gonorrhea (gonorrhea symptoms)

“The link between binge drinking and risky sexual behavior is complex,” said Heidi Hutton, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the medical school and an author of the study.

“We wanted to examine one component of that relationship, whether binge drinking increased the risk of engaging in sexual behaviors and having STDs. We found … that binge drinking increased STD risk for women.”

Binge drinking results in a decreased ability to make clear decisions,” noted Geetanjali Chander, assistant professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “and can enable individuals to engage in behaviors that they would not if sober.

Read more at CBC