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Women’s Health & Folic Acid

YOUR HEALTH

Women’s Health & Folic Acid

 

Three out of four women don’t get enough folic acid. Are you one of them?

Folic aciFod is a nutrient that’s often overlooked, but for women it’s so important. Recently, research from UCD revealed that three out of four women are not taking folic acid as recommended prior to pregnancy. This statistic in itself is worrying, but it has been compounded by the fact that we have seen a rise in neural tube defects in the past few years.

So what do we have to do to prevent neural tube defects?

Whether you’re planning for a baby or not, if you’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to take a folic acid supplement, especially since we know that one in three pregnancies are unplanned.

The good news is, folic acid isn’t just good for helping to prevent neural tube defects, taking a folic acid supplement is also good for your immune system and it helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, so really it’s one of those supplements we could all be taking!

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What does it mean to have a baby born with a neural tube defect (NTD)?

Neural tube defects occur when the spinal cord doesn’t close correctly, usually leading to either spina bifida or anencephaly, babies born with anencephaly usually don’t survive whereas those with spina bifida can have mobility, mental and social problems. The good news is that having a baby born with a neural tube defects can be largely prevented by supplementing diets with 400 micrograms of folic acid at least 12 weeks prior to pregnancy.

 

 

 

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