Infertility Blogger
Lee Trask is an advocate for women dealing with issues of infertility and miscarriage. Having struggled through more than six years of infertility, three miscarriages, and high-risk pregnancy, she is now happy raising her two…
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'Will extra folic acid help me get pregnant?' About folic acid miscarriages
Posted in Pregnancy by Lee Trask on Sep 29, 2010
"I have had 4 miscarriages and several rounds of testing done with my fertility doctor. I have one healthy child, age 7. The only thing that turned up is that I have one copy of the C677T mutation regarding folic acid. My doctor said that to be considered abnormal and treatable that I had to have two copies of this mutation. I have never had any other abnormal test therefore do not know why this keeps happening.

At this point she says there is no more testing that can be done for me. She told me to take a folic acid vitamin on top of a prenatal vitamin. Is there any knowledge that extra folic acid helps to have a baby? I don't want to give up hope, but it kills me that there is no explainable reason for these miscarriages."


I am sorry to hear you are going through this, but I am glad that you have a doctor who seems to be trying everything possible to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy. Folic acid is a B vitamin, (also known as folate), and it is extremely important in the early stages of fetal development.

It is always recommended that women trying to conceive take folic acid before they become pregnant and into the first trimester, in order to reduce the possibility of birth defects. Folic acid is crucial in the development of the neural tube, which becomes the brain and spinal cord of the fetus. Since almost half of pregnancies are unplanned, some women may not know they are pregnant until the 4th or 5th week of gestation. At this point, important development has already taken place, and without folic acid, the risk of birth defect can increase by as much as 70%.

Folic acid plays another role in the early stages of pregnancy. A study done by researchers from Sweden's Karolinka Institute in conjunction with the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Services (NICHD) showed that women with low folic acid levels were 50% more likely to miscarry then women who had normal levels. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in 2002.

“Folate deficiency also has been associated with placental separation during pregnancy, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and low blood supply to the placenta. These effects may in part be responsible for the increased risk of miscarriage.”

While the evidence is not substantial enough to say that low levels of folate cause miscarriage, having a deficiency could certainly contribute to miscarriage. I wish you the best of luck if you decide to try again.

Best,
Lee



March of Dimes: Folic Acid

About.com Low Folic Acid
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