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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a relationship between folic acid and miscarriage rates?

    I've been trying to fall pregnant and was told to take folic acid supplements. I just wanted to double check if they have a relationship with causing or increasing the risk of a miscarriage?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    It is my understanding that folic acid is supposed to reduce the rate of miscarriage and fetal abnormalities. In people with diabetes the risk of miscarriage is 10 x bigger than the general population and so people with diabetes are recommended to take 10x the “normal” dose of folic acid, for at least 3 months before trying to conceive. The “normal” dose of folic acid is 0.5mg, and so people with diabetes are asked to take 5.0mg.
    There are lots of causes for miscarriage and difficulty conceiving. Polycystic ovaries are one cause, high blood pressure another, but there are many, many more. I understand that in fact 1 in 3 pregnancies ends up in a miscarriage! I guess most people might not realise they were pregnant in the first place if it happens really early in the pregnancy; they might just say “they are late”. But if you are keen on falling pregnant your focus is there and so you would know if you are as much as just one day late in your menstrual cycle.
    It is worthwhile talking to your GP about your particular situation, your GP can arrange tests or even an early referral to an obestrician or fertility doctor if required.
    Good luck!

  • 1

    Thanks

    Maria Nguyen

    HealthShare Member

    Folic acid is supposed to reduce the risk of miscarriage and fetus abnormalities. Doctors recommend to take folic acid supplements as soon as a woman finds out that she is pregnant. I also recomend you taking folic acids few months before trying to conceive a child. 

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  • Dr Gary Sykes

    Obstetrician

    Dr Gary Sykes is a graduate Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B, B.S.) from Sydney University. He commenced his initial postgraduate training at … View Profile

    The possible causes for miscarriage are many. See my website at http://www.obstetricexcellence.com.au/questions-and-answers/miscarriage. So it cannot be said that by talking folic acid will mean you definitely will not miscarry.

    But is considered that folic acid supplement prepregnancy and in early pregnancy helps prevent not only neural tube defects and but also miscarriage.

    Women wanting to conceive are therefore encouraged to take folic acid supplement. An adequate level (400ug/day) is in most pregnancy supplements and I find most of my patients are already taking such a supplement when I see them for their first antenatal visit. It is possible to get folic acid by itself and sometimes a woman prefers this option.

    Certainly folic acid will not predispose you to miscarriage.

    Also check out https://sites.google.com/site/miscarriageresearch/vitamins-and-miscarriage/folic-acid

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