With new technologies and advanced medical science, there have been quite a lot of studies on twins and pregnancy. With methods like IUI and IVF, it is now clinically possible to get pregnant with multiple babies.
However, some parents decide to stay away from artificial influences as much as possible, and that is completely understandable. However, when doctors prescribe folic acid to pregnant women, a lot of people can’t help but ask if they can use folic acid to get pregnant with twins.
Consuming folic acid is not completely natural (if you take it as a supplement), but it doesn’t sound as dangerous as other types of methods either, does it? That is probably why every parent who dreams of buying everything in two tries to reply on safer and easier options. To bring a concrete answer to their curiosity, we have explored all the answers and research to find whether or not folic acid helps get pregnant with twins.
What is folic acid?
Let us give you an overview of the specific vitamin we will focus on. Folic acid is another version of vitamin folate and it can also be called a source of vitamin B9. As a vitamin, it can be found in every type of food. However, you can take it as a supplement to boost and fill in the deficiency or insufficiency in the body.
The reason supplements are accepted is that they are absorbed at a higher rate than a food source. The rate of supplements being absorbed is 85% whereas that from food sources is only 50%.
How does it work in the body?
Before you take in the supplement, it is wise to know how it works in the body so that if you ever observe anything unusual you can spot it right then and there. Folic acid mainly produces red blood cells in our bodies.
During pregnancy or periods, people need an extra boost of folic acid for the baby’s growth or to fill in the blood they lose. And that is the reason an amount of folic acid is recommended during those times. Folic acid also helps develop the baby’s brain, DNA, RNA, skull, etc.
Other than that folic acid is also needed to break down one type of amino acid called homocysteine which can be harmful to the body if it is present in a high amount. This beneficial vitamin helps form RNA and DNA and takes care of the protein. It can also help reduce the side effects of several diseases.
Natural sources for folic acid
Other than artificial or lab-made supplements, folic acid can also be found in natural food items. Beans, peanuts, fruits, eggs, whole grains, liver, and seafood can be good sources of folate or folic acid. Different types of dark leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, asparagus, and broccoli are primary sources of folic acid as well.
Correlation between folic acid intake and having twins
Does folic acid help get pregnant with twins? This is a common question among many people who are trying to have two little angels at the same time. To answer this question we have to look at different research and decide which one to take. First, let’s look at the studies that have affirmative answers to this.
There was one Swedish study that concluded that there might be a correlation between folic acid intake and twin pregnancies. The study was conducted on over 2000 women and after reviewing all the medicines they had taken from 1994, it was seen that the rate of twin birth was significantly higher in those who did consume the vitamin. The rate was as much as 2.8%. The study also took data on those who took IVF, one type of artificial fertilization.
The study then found that mothers who took folic acid had a higher rate of multiple ovulation meaning multiple kids. The reason this study was conducted particularly was because of a government policy. In order to reduce the risk of neurological disease among infants or fetuses, it was advised to increase the amount of folic acid in food like cereal.
You can watch this video to know more about reducing birth defects with the help of folic acid –
However, this study was not accepted by many researchers. There has also been another study with a larger population in China that was conducted on 2,40,000 people. The study then showed that consuming folic acid has no correlation with having twins. Even the official website of NHS directly says that folic acid doesn’t help get pregnant nor does it increase fertility.
The Swedish researcher also commented that more researches need to be done on this to promote that folic acid increases the chance of getting pregnant. Another reason why he says that is because according to his own calculation, there should be more twin pairs if the outcome of the research was true.
After reviewing all the information on this question, we can conclude that there has been some research here and there that claimed to find a correlation between twin pregnancy and folic acid. However, we are yet to find anything concrete to support this idea. Even the ones that concluded in the affirmative have found a slight correlation but not the causation as there could be multiple other factors.
Why should we take folic acid?
If it doesn’t help with getting pregnant with twins, should you still take it? The answer is yes! Even if it doesn’t help with getting pregnant, it immensely helps with building an ideal body to grow a healthy baby. If you go back to the NHS website, you will see that they advised pregnant women to take folic acid 3 months before getting pregnant.
Folic acid not only helps with growing the baby’s skull and brain, but it also helps with reducing the risk of developing neurological problems. This is why mothers are advised to intake folic acid at a certain amount.
The answer to the question that if it is useful to take folic acid to get pregnant with twins might not seem satisfactory if you are a parent. But for the health sector, it actually means something different. If a correlation exists, it actually means that taking folic acid might lead to multiple health risks as having multiple fetuses is very risky.
Folic acid is an essential part of pregnancy with its benefit of reducing the risks of neurological and spine disorders. As it doesn’t help get pregnant with twins, expecting parents might want to check out other options such as IVF and IUI along with taking medicines specifically designed for fertility. However, they should always remember that being pregnant with multiple kids imposes extra risks on mothers and kids at the same time.
Taking precautions is always a good idea. And when it comes to sensitive health issues like pregnancy the easiest and safest option is always to consult a doctor or an expert in this area to guide you through it all. After all, the goal should be a healthy baby before the number or gender of the baby.