I've read recently an article online that taking folic acid prior to conception can help prevent DS.
Now, I know that DS cannot be prevented, and the possibility of having a child with DS increases with a woman's age.
However, this articles was emphasizing on folic acid as a vitamin and almost calling it a "miracle vitamin," by saying that if a woman takes it prior to conception that it has a great deal of positive and helpful effects.
It focused on women with no family history of DS, as it did say that in such cases you can't really prevent what might be hereditary.
What I wanted to know was, how long BEFORE conception should a woman take it? I know it is recommended that it should start 3 months before conception, but the FDA recommends folic acid should be taken daily. My question is, if you want to get pregnant in three years (for example) would it be okay to take it every day for three years?
Yes, folic acid is supposed to reduce the chances of neural tube birth defects. However, how long one needs to take this supplement and in what dose is pretty controversial and differs across geographic region. It would be best to consult your gynecologist and discuss this. Three years is a pretty long time. You can talk to your doctor and probably start folic acid when you plan the baby—may be a month prior to that. Do discuss this with your doctor. Take care!
Thanks so much for your reply! Just curious though - if three years is considered to be a long time, for eaxample, to take folic acid, then why is it recommended as a daily vitamin requirement for women of childbearing years?
Also, I've read that it can also help keep a woman fertile or greatly impact her fertility in a positive way...so, it should or shouldn't be taken daily? Or maybe 3 x a week, on average? (Just want an opinion, I don't hold anything against you, thanks!)
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.