Many women have heard that folic acid is an important supplement to take while pregnant, but did you know why folic acid is so important?
Even if you’re undergoing treatments for infertility and aren’t sure how soon you’ll get pregnant, taking folic acid is a great way to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Read on to get the answers to common questions about folic acid and pregnancy:
What Is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is a man-made version of folate, a B vitamin. Folate can be found in many foods, including citrus fruits, leafy greens, and whole grains. It is also added to many fortified foods such as cereals and milk products. Though folate occurs naturally in many foods, most women are deficient in this vitamin and need a folic acid supplement. Folic acid supports healthy cell development, which is critical before and during pregnancy.
Why Is Folic Acid Important Before and During Pregnancy?
In addition to supporting cell development, folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of a serious birth defect called neural tube defect (NTD). Spina bifida and anencephaly are forms of neural tube defects. This birth defect occurs within the first four weeks of pregnancy, when many women don’t yet realize they have conceived. That is why it is so important to take folic acid even if you’re trying to become pregnant. Research shows that taking folic acid one month before conception can reduce your baby’s NTD risk by up to 70 percent.
How Should I Take Folic Acid?
Folic acid is present in most multi-vitamins and all pre-natal vitamins. Talk to your fertility doctor about how much you should be getting on a daily basis. Most women need between 400 and 800 micrograms per day. Your fertility specialist may recommend you take more. You fertility doctor may also recommend the best prenatal vitamins to support your infertility treatment.
If you’re facing infertility, let Dallas IVF help you with everything from treating your underlying conditions to preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Dallas IVF is one of the nations’ leading infertility centers and consistently has among the highest success rates in the United States. Learn more about IVF and other fertility treatments by calling (214) 297-0020.