Folic Acid and Fertility

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When you are planning on having a baby, you will want to know what steps to take in order to not only conceive quickly but to make sure that the baby you do conceive will be healthy. Fortunately, there are many steps that can be taken in order for this to happen. One of those steps to take is to educate yourself on the benefits of taking folic acid before trying to conceive. And you are probably wondering something as well. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

That is, can folic acid really help with your fertility?

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is a B9 vitamin. Found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and tomatoes, folic acid has long been known to be vital in aiding in brain development while in the womb. It is an important supplement for all pregnant women to take. But can it affect fertility as well? 


How Folic Acid Helps with Male Fertility

There are studies that show a link between folic acid and male fertility as well. The studies actually found that men who consumed high levels of folic acid on a daily basis were shown to lower their risk of sperm abnormalities by as much as 30%! That is a huge number! Sperm abnormalities can put your baby at risk for chromosomal defects and other birth defects, so you want to avoid them at all costs. So, ladies, if you are trying to conceive, you might just want to go ahead and pick up a supplement for your guy as well!

Studies have been conducted on a number of men who have taken folic acid and the findings were quite promising. The following were found in these men who had taken over 700 mcg of folic acid a day.

Folic acid and its benefits to male fertility

•     Higher sperm countThe fact of the matter is when you are trying to conceive, it is the woman who has to time it correctly due to knowing when she is close to ovulating by charting. However, if there is enough evidence to show that she is ovulating and getting the timing correct but yet is not conceiving, it could point to a problem with her man. If his sperm count is low, then there will not be enough sperm to travel up and meet with the egg since the pathway via the fallopian tubes from the cervix to the egg is quite long. If pregnancy finally results after the man started taking 700 mcg of folic acid, then that is a sign the folic acid helped increase the sperm count.

•     Lowers risk of sperm abnormalities – Men who take folic acid don’t only find that their sperm count increases, but abnormalities in sperm drop by 20 to 30 percent which is quite significant. That means the chances of chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to birth defects, like Down syndrome, in babies will drop as well. It is believed that when babies are born with chromosomal disorders, that it was due to a problem with the woman’s egg, especially if she is over 35. However, the sperm can cause these abnormalities as well. If he takes folic acid, then the odds of producing a baby with birth defects drops a lot!

•     Taken with other supplements – It can be taken with other male fertility supplements. It is known that vitamins like Vitamin C and minerals like zinc are extremely important for increasing sperm count and quality as well. However, when he takes folic acid as well, these excellent minerals and vitamins will be able to work together to help increase sperm count as well as quality.

This means the woman is not the only one to be expected to take folic acid to ensure that a successful and healthy pregnancy happens. There is evidence that your guy will benefit greatly from taking folic acid as well, but let’s look again as well and see how it can help female fertility.


How Folic Acid Helps with Female Fertility

Women have been told for a long time to take 400 mcg of folic acid at least 3 months before trying to conceive. The reason for that is so it is in the system to help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus after pregnancy has occurred. However, folic acid has other great benefits. There have been studies done that show that healthy women who were having problems conceiving due to ovulation problems had fewer problems when taking a folic acid supplement.  So it is clear that It does help increase fertility in women as well, and let’s look at how it does.

•     Helps prevent anemia Women who are even slightly anemic may not be ovulating regularly due to the fact that it can wreak havoc with the balance of hormones. If women take at least 400 mcg of folic acid at least 3 months before conceiving, it can help improve blood iron levels, which will help with hormonal regulation, and as a result, ovulation will happen regularly.

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•     Strengthen the quality of the egg – Just like with guys who take folic acid to improve the quality of sperm, egg quality will improve as well when folic acid is taken months before actively trying to conceive. That means the risk of conceiving a baby with a chromosomal or birth defect is a lot less due to the egg being healthy with the help of folic acid.

•     Increase the amount of fertile cervical mucus – The consistency of cervical mucus is important when it comes to conceiving. Many women will chart their ovulation by checking the color and texture of cervical mucus. However, when ovulation is near, it is important that there is an abundant amount of cervical mucus to help the sperm travel to meet the egg. Studies have shown that women who take folic acid do have an increase of fertile cervical mucus when ovulation is near.

•     Works in conjunction with other vitamins – Folic acid works with other important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is not the only vital nutrient women need to take before they conceive and after conception. That is why it is important that women take a folic acid supplement as well as taking a prenatal vitamin which usually has about 400 mcg of the nutrient as it is. Additional folic acid is recommended as well just in case you are not getting enough from foods. There are many other important nutrients to take in addition to folic acid as well such as Vitamin C, iron, zinc, Vitamin B6 and 12, and niacin just to name a few. They all work well with folic acid together.


Supplements vs Folate-rich Foods

Doctors also say that you should get the majority of your folic acid intake from your diet, and that a supplement should be, well.. just that, a supplement. You seem to get better results from actually eating foods rich in Folic Acid as opposed to just taking a supplement.

I mean, if you are not going to get folate from foods, you should take a supplement, but also try to make sure that your diet is rich in those foods as well. But let’s be quite frank, we don’t eat as healthy as we should. And the chances that your diet is rich enough in folate is pretty slim. And to take the amounts required to assist fertility will be nearly impossible without a supplement.


Folic Acid and Pregnancy

Folic Acid is one of those important vitamins that should be taken even before getting pregnant, even though it will also help you to have a healthy pregnancy too.

You need the folic acid to be in your system even before getting pregnant, since folic acid is one of the building blocks for a healthy baby. It is recommended you begin taking folic acid up to 3 months prior to getting pregnant.

You need to make sure that you are getting at least 400 micrograms a day.

If you have a family history of birth defects, your doctor might want you to take as much as 4000 micrograms per day. Folic acid doesn’t stay in your system for very long either so it is one of those things that you will need to eat or take a supplement of every day.

As you can see, folic acid is an essential vitamin in helping you to conceive, and also in helping you to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Make sure that you are getting enough! If you are not sure, talk with your doctor or health care provider to make sure!

Folic acid is both good for both pregnant and trying to conceive women


Bottom Line

To sum up, the main job of folic acid in the body is to help produce and maintain new cells. That said, it is absolutely crucial for proper cell division. Without folic acid, the body could not produce DNA and red blood cells which is why the chances of having a baby with a serious defect is higher if it is not taken.

Now that it is known that men and women are recommended to start taking folic acid to help improve their egg and sperm quality, and to also increase fertility on both ends, that is a great piece of knowledge to have while trying to conceive a healthy baby, boy or girl. Now that you are ready to start, best of luck!

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Alyssia Granger
Alyssia Granger | ConceiveEasy
Alyssia is mom to 2 giggley twin girls, Sophia and Emma, and son Hunter. She's a Southern girl, passionate about photography, travel and her husband Josh.