Does folic acid help you get pregnant? Our guide will go over different studies that show how the nutrient can potentially help you conceive.
Pregnancy is an often complicated process, but there are simple ways to help increase female fertility and encourage conception.
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is a naturally occurring nutrient found in many foods and supplements. Numerous studies have found that folic acid can help to greatly improve fertility and even prevent birth defects.
A study found that women with high folate levels in their blood were more likely to have a successful pregnancy and live birth.
While women who take folic acid are more likely to get pregnant within a 12-month period, there's no specific timeline as to when you will get pregnant.
Yes, it's recommended to take folic acid within the first trimester of pregnancy. It's been found to reduce the risks of birth defects.
In this guide, we’ll look at how folic acid can enhance fertility along with how you can get more of it in your diet today!
Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient for women and men of all ages. The vitamin can be found in various leafy greens, fruits, and in large quantities in certain meats like liver. It can also be found in multivitamins or supplemented on its own.
One of the most important properties of folic acid is its ability to produce more healthy red blood cells and help the body to process iron. Both of these functions are essential for a healthy pregnancy and overall well-being.
Folic acid can help female fertility by promoting healthy menstrual cycles and ovarian functioning. In a large study, it was found that women with high folate levels in their blood were more likely to have successful egg implantation compared to those with lower levels of folate.
Plus, they also had a greater chance of a successful pregnancy and live birth. The study shows that women with higher folic acid intake had a 20-30% higher chance of a successful pregnancy than the group with lower, or deficient, levels of folic acid.
Additionally, it was concluded that folic acid supplementation can increase the success rate of fertility procedures like in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
So does folic acid help you get pregnant? In many ways, it can improve the odds of:
Folic acid may not guarantee conception, but it may increase the odds of it happening while also providing multiple benefits during pregnancy.
There also appears to be little difference whether folic acid is obtained through natural foods or supplementation. Make sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new supplements.
The CDC recommends taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily when trying to get pregnant. They also recommend that women take it daily for at least one month before conceiving to aid in reproductive functioning and promote fetal health during pregnancy.
However, there is not a direct timeline as to when you will get pregnant after starting folic acid. The research just shows that it will likely help to increase fertility overall.
In this study, women who supplement with folic acid, or have naturally higher levels due to their diet, are more likely to get pregnant within a 12-month period.
Folic acid is very beneficial to take while pregnant. It has been shown to greatly decrease the risk of major birth defects, including:
It’s recommended to continue taking folic acid for at least the first three months of pregnancy.
While there is no recommended amount after three months of pregnancy, since the neural tubes within the fetus have already developed, it will not be harmful to continue supplementation.
Make sure to always speak with your doctor about your diet and supplementation during pregnancy to ensure the best care possible.
As mentioned earlier, the CDC recommends that pregnant women take 400mcg of folic acid at least one month before conception, and for at least three months during pregnancy.
However, many people wonder if more folic acid will provide more benefits. Doctors are often asked, “is 1600 mcg of folic acid too much when pregnant?” among other similar questions.
In most cases, people should not supplement with more than 400 mcg of folic acid while pregnant. In one study, it was found that women who took excessive amounts of folic acid may have higher rates of hypertension, and a potential increase for developmental disorders for their child.
This is why it’s important to only take the recommended amount of folic acid, unless otherwise directed by a doctor or other licensed professional.
There are many foods abundant with folic acid that you can add to your fertility diet today.
Some folate-rich foods include:
Along with foods, you can also take folic acid supplements, either as a standalone vitamin B9 supplement or as part of a B vitamin complex.
Plus, there are female fertility supplements available that contain folic acid among other vitamins and herbs that may promote healthy reproductive functioning.
Supplements like Fertility Support for Her contain folate along with other essential vitamins and nutrients to help support fertility and improve egg quality.
While folic acid is very beneficial for female fertility, it may not be as helpful for male fertility.
According to a multi-year study, folic acid did not appear to significantly raise sperm count or viability in most men. While a slight positive increase was noted, it was not substantial or widespread enough to warrant a scientific recommendation.
However, folic acid can still be beneficial to men in other ways by promoting a healthy circulatory system, improving heart health, and reducing the risk of depression. All of these things may indirectly help to improve fertility.
Folic acid is an essential vitamin for women trying to get pregnant. It has been shown to provide many benefits for women looking to increase their fertility, such as better egg quality and healthy ovarian functioning.
Plus, folic acid has also shown to be very important during pregnancy, as it can reduce the risk of serious birth defects while also aiding the mother’s overall health.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, or are currently pregnant, make sure to talk to your doctor to see if you should increase your folic acid intake.
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