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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long does one neeed to take folic acid before getting pregnant?

Answered by
Dr. Deepti Verma

OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 5069 Questions

Posted on Thu, 13 Sep 2018 in Pregnancy
Question: Hello,

I have few questions about pregnancy in general.

1. How long before planning for pregnancy should one start taking folic acid?
2. Is it necessary to take folic acid supplements (tablets) or are natural produce like oranges and spinach enough?
3. If someone does not want to take artificial supplements for folic acid, can they eat some fruit or vegetable instead, and in what quantity everyday?
Answered by Dr. Deepti Verma 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Folic acid supplementation recommended

Detailed Answer:
I have gone through your question and understand the concerns.

1. One should start taking folic acid tablets at least 2 months prior to planning conception and continue it for the first trimester of pregnancy.

2. Folic acid is present in green leafy vegetables, some fruits, and its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract is unpredictable.

So, one cannot predict how much folic acid one is gaining by taking fruits and vegetables.
It is always advisable to take folic acid supplementation for the same.

3.No, it is recommended and advisable to take folic acid supplementation in the form of a tablet while planning Pregnancy, as the dose is calculated and absorption is proper.
This is not possible with the intake of fruits and vegetables.

Hope you found the answer helpful.
Dr Deepti Verma
Maternal and fetal medicine specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Deepti Verma 11 hours later
Thankyou so much Dr. XXXXXXX This is very helpful. I have a few more questions:

1. Are there different types of folic acid supplements available at drug-stores? If yes, which one do you recommend I should take? How many such tablets should I take everyday and at what time?

2. In the last blood-test I had about 2 years ago, my bad cholesterol was border-line high. I exercise frequently and am not sure at what level is my cholesterol today. Does this have any impact on planning pregnancy?

3. I am used to getting headaches almost twice in a month. Frequent triggers I have noticed are head posture, spondylitis, stress, nervousness, etc. Usually these headaches are fixed by a Saridon. I have heard that it is not advisable to take such pain relief medicines during pregnancy. Can you suggest some options I can use for headaches if I do get pregnant?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Answered by Dr. Deepti Verma 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Folvite, Paracetamol

Detailed Answer:
Hi dear,
1. Folvite is the brand recommended for supplementation before and during pregnancy.
2. No, mild derangement in cholesterol do not effects the pregnancy or chances of conception.
3. Paracetamol is safe in pregnancy

Hope you found the answer helpful.
Dr Deepti Verma
OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

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