How Important is Folic Acid When Trying To Conceive?

While on the journey to conception, there are a lot of tips and recommendations you’ll have to field from doctors, experts, and others who have gone through the process. Acupuncture, drinking more water, tracking your BBT, and so many others. One thing is for certain though, folic acid seems to be a recurring recommendation from doctors.

What is Folic Acid?

Folate and folic acid are both forms of water-soluble a B-vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food and folic acid is the synthetic version of it. Foods that have a natural abundance of folate are dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, avocado, and many seeds and nuts.

Why You Need Folic Acid

There are a lot of defects and deficiencies that can arise during a pregnancy, some of which can be prevented by folic acid. Particularly, women who are obese tend to have a higher risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly. 

How Much Folic Acid Do You Need?

To reduce your child’s risk of developing certain defects, doctors recommend taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. Some groups, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, suggest upping the daily dosage of folic acid to 600 mcg once you actually get pregnant.

Signs of a Folic Acid Deficiency

The signifiers of someone having a folic acid deficiency tend to be subtle and therefore, harder to detect. The symptoms include fatigue, mouth sores, tongue swelling, growth problems, and gray hair. Since a symptom like fatigue is so subtle, it can be difficult to attribute it to something larger like a folic acid deficiency.

Trying to conceive is a stressful and oftentimes, lengthy process. If you’re doing research on your conception options and the best ways to become pregnant, incorporating folic acid supplements or foods with natural occurrences of folate is an ideal way to improve not only your health but your chances of conceiving. For more information on pregnancy and conception, sign up for our newsletter below.

 

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