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Fertility – January is Folic Acid Awareness month

Folic acid is an important vitamin. It’s also called vitamin B9. Getting the right amount of folic acid before and during pregnancy plays a key role. It helps prevent serious birth defects of a baby’s spine and brain, like spina bifida.1 The recommended dose of folic acid is 400 micrograms (mcg) every day.

How can you get enough folic acid?

You can get enough folic acid by eating certain foods or taking vitamins.

Folate is a form of folic acid. Dark leafy vegetables like asparagus, spinach and broccoli have folate in them. So do many citrus fruits and beans.

Many foods have folic acid added to them. This means they are “enriched” or “fortified” with folic acid. In fact, a product can only be called “enriched” if it has folic acid in it. Foods like rice, pasta, bread, corn, masa flour and breakfast cereals are often enriched. Check food labels to find out how much folic acid you are getting in a serving.

It can be hard to get enough folic acid from food. Another important option is to take a daily multivitamin that has folic acid. You can find folic acid in many general and prenatal vitamins. Over-the-counter prenatal vitamins are usually affordable. They may even be covered by your insurance plan if your doctor gives you a prescription. Talk to your health care team about prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplements.

This is also a good time to review all the medications you are taking.

If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or contact Encompass Fertility at 1-855-443-5357. Your fertility pharmacy team is available 24/7to answer questions about your health or medications.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women Need 400 micrograms of Folic Acid Every Day.

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