Folic acid to get pregnant

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Folic acid and pregnancy

Vitamin B9 better known as folic acid, is very important for women who want get pregnant since it plays a vital role in the prevention of severe congenital malformations. All women who plan to become pregnant or do not rule it out should start taking it. We see the importance offolic acid before and during pregnancy and its impact on fertility. 20 PHOTO
Folic acid to get pregnant

Folic acid, 18 foods that contain it

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Women of childbearing potential who are planning to become pregnant should supplement their diet with folic acid. Proper nutrition allows you to cover your needs ...

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Read also: Folic acid: what it is used for and what are its benefits

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is a vitamin B9, which belongs to the class of water-soluble vitamins, i.e. those that cannot be accumulated in the body, but must be regularly taken through thesupply or through the recruitment of Dietary Supplements. Folic acid is recommended not only during the first few months of pregnancy, but also if you are planning for it.


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Why is it important to take folic acid before and during pregnancy?

L'folic acid contributes to development of the neural duct. The latter is formed soon after conception and later becomes the baby's spine. In particular, taking folic acid would limit the chances of having a baby with central nervous system malformations, including:

●    spina bifida
● anencephaly
● encephalocele

If you don't take enough folic acid with nutrition, it is necessary to integrate the stocks present inside the organism with specific products, to favor the development of maternal tissues and the central nervous system of the fetus.

If you are trying to get pregnant, how much folic acid is recommended to take?

A woman of childbearing age, who foresees or does not exclude pregnancy, should, in fact, take an additional quantity of 0,4 mg / day, starting at least 1 month before conception up to the third month of pregnancy (periconceptional period).

Also Read: Getting Pregnant: 10 Things to Do First

What are the benefits of folic acid in pregnancy?

From the earliest stages of pregnancy, it is important that thefolic acid is present in optimal quantities in our organism for ensure oxygenation and normal tissue development, especially those in growth, such as embryonic ones. Furthermore, its presence has been shown to decrease the levels of an amino acid, the homocysteine, which - if high - increases the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular and heart systems.

What is the folic acid requirement in pregnancy?

Il need for folic acid in the general population it is 0,4 mg per day and this contribution is usually guaranteed by a healthy and balanced diet. During the period of the pregnancy and dell 'nursing the daily requirement increases to at least 0,6 mg. This happens because Vitamin B9 is vital in order to ensure it development of growing tissues and to replenish the quantities that go into breast milk.

La folic acid deficiency in the early stages of pregnancy significantly increases the risk of malformations of the fetus, in particular neural tube defects such as spina bifida ol 'anencephaly. It could also be a predisposing factor to intrauterine growth retardation or premature birth. Supplementation with folic acid in the preconception phase reduces the risk of developing neural tube malformations by more than half.

Neural tube defects: what are they?

Neural tube defects are congenital malformations of the central nervous system (consisting of the brain and spinal cord) due to abnormalities in the closure of the neural tube, the embryonic structure that gives rise to the brain, spinal cord and meninges, the membranes that cover them. Other structures related to the central nervous system, such as bones and skin, may be affected. They can be incompatible with life already in the neonatal period, or extremely disabling.

Based on the results of numerous scientific studies, it is now widely recognized that regular intake of folic acid from before conception reduces the risk of neural tube defects by 50-70%. It also seems that this supplementation can reduce the risk of other congenital defects by 10-20%, including heart disease and cleft lip and palate (cleft lip).

Read also: Spina bifida and neural tube defects: what they are and how to prevent them

Folic acid before conception: how to take it

A woman of childbearing potential who anticipates pregnancy should take an additional 0,4 mg per day of folic acid and continue to do so at least throughout the first trimester of gestation.

Here are the indications of the Higher Institute of Holiness on the intake of folic acid

  • It is good to follow a correct and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables that provide good amounts of folic acid: oranges, mandarins, clementines, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, endive, chard, broccoli, cabbage.
    Among foods of animal origin, the highest folate content is found in liver and other offal, some cheeses and eggs

  • It is necessary to integrate with a supplementation daily of folic acid, to start at least one month before conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy

  • The recommendation is 0,4 milligrams per day (400 micrograms). But be warned: Women with well-recognized risk factors for neural tube defects are recommended 4-5 milligrams per day.

Does folic acid increase fertility?

A Danish study demonstrates another important function of folic acid: it appears to help women promoting fertility.
This was demonstrated by a study conducted in Denmark on about 4 pregnant women between 2007 and 2022.
The investigation was conducted to confirm some partial studies, conducted over time, from which it appeared that women who took more folic acid became pregnant more easily.
Also from this survey, it was found that women who take folic acid in the form of a supplement, suggested by the doctor or gynecologist, are 15% more likely to get pregnant.
The positive effect was more evident in women with an irregular cycle, therefore more or less long flows but in which ovulation occurs on very variable days. In these cases, the odds even increase by 35%. This is possible because folic acid functions as a mediator of the hormones of the menstrual cycle, although the mechanism of action has yet to be largely elucidated.

Other sources for this article:


Aarthus University PhD defense: Heidi Theresa Ørum Cueto 

Read also: Vitamins and precious minerals in pregnancy

Questions and answers

What is folic acid used for?

Folic acid is essential for pregnant women as it protects and promotes the development of the fetus. Folic acid is also essential for protein and DNA synthesis as well as for the formation of hemoglobin.

How long before pregnancy should I take folic acid?  

To reduce the risk of birth defects it is essential that the intake begins at least one month before conception and continues throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.

How Much Folic Acid Should I Take Before Getting Pregnant?

Women wishing to become pregnant are recommended to regularly take at least 0,4 mg of folic acid per day.

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