Does folic acid help fertility?
It is a very common advisory for women who are trying to get pregnant to take folic acid as a dose of 400 micrograms (that’s the dose for patients in the United Kingdom).
Folic acid should be taken during the periconceptional period and for at least 12 to 14 weeks.
The reason this advisory comes from the large population studies where it has been seen that women who take folic acid during the periconceptional period, the babies conceived have less chance of developing neural tube defect. What we imply by that is the development of the brain and the spinal cord.
So largely the advisory is mainly to prevent the neural tube defects. Whether folic acid adequately replenishes stores of folic acid, largely it will not have any implication on fertility. However, a folic acid deficiency has a potential to affect fertility.
Overall, a folic acid deficiency might affect, but replenishing stores of folic acid with supplements don’t help with fertility.