When you plan for a baby and want to prepare yourself for the pregnancy, your doctor might prescribe you folic acid. But, you may hear that folic acid messes with the menstrual cycle. It delays your period etc.
So now, your question is can folic acid make your period late?
The answer is no. Folic acid does not mess with your menstrual cycle; it helps you with fertility. Folic acid may enlarge the period, and that may cause you to delay the next period.
In this article, we covered everything on folic acid and answered your most probable questions. So, go through the article and get all your answers.
Can Folic Acid Make Your Period Late?
There is a myth that you can hear from someone that taking folic acid can irregulate or delay your period. So you can ask, how long can folic acid delay period?
The fact is, folic acid does not make your period irregular. Folic acid does not even delay your period in a problematic case.
But if you ask, does folic acid affect the menstrual cycle? Yes, research shows folic acid helps you with your menstrual cycle. So, it affects your menstrual cycle positively.
Some researchers claim that folic acid can make your period longer than usual. That is why your period may start slightly delayed. It has its reason for longevity.
Research has shown that the ovaries of women who take folic acid have lesser amino acid homocysteine. And it helps the ovaries to work better, and that prolongs the period.
Can Folic Acid Mess with Your Hormones?
No, folic acid does not mess with your hormones; instead, it helps maintain regular hormonal flow related to pregnancy.
Folic is not something you should worry about or overthink. If your doctor prescribes it, you should take it undoubtedly. It does not mess with hormones or anything.
Is Folic Acid Important for Pregnancy?
Folic acid is an essential ingredient for pregnancy as it maintains and produces new cells. It reduces the risk of congenital disabilities like NTDs (Neural Tube Defects). NTDs or other defects typically occur in the baby’s body in the first month of conception.
Anencephaly and spina bifida is the most common type of NTDs. Usually, these defects have no cure. But researchers have claimed that the mothers who took folic acid supplements during the first month of pregnancy have dramatically reduced the risk of these defects in their babies.
So, when the spinal cord formation is going on in the baby’s body, the mother should take folic acid. Then again, it does not reduce or prevent the risk of a baby dying before or after birth. It only helps with the health issues of babies.
What are the Benefits of Taking Folic Acid?
Folic acid has a lot of health benefits. It is a natural supplement for vitamin B9. Mainly doctors prescribe it to women who are going to be mothers soon. But you should know that folic acid works for a better pregnancy and works for many things. Let’s see,
- Taking folic acid prevents folate deficiency.
- Prevent Alzheimer’s disease and improve memory power in older people.
- It works as an antidepressant and lessens depression.
- By regulating amino acid homocysteine, it prevents heart disease.
- Lessens the risk of anemia and high blood pressure.
- Reduce the risk of stroke.
Is There Any Side Effect of Folic Acid?
Folic acid is safe for most people. If you take higher than 1 mg daily, you may feel nausea and confusion. It may also cause diarrhea, skin reaction, behavior change, stomach upset, etc.
But there is a fact; if you take folic acid for an extended period, it may cause severe side effects. Very long usage of folic acid increases the risk of cancer. And for those who have heart problems, excess use of folic acid may cause heart attacks.
So, stick to the dose that your doctor recommends. If you face any side effects, stop taking it immediately and ask your doctor about it.
Should I Start Taking Folic Acid?
If you are planning for a baby, you should start taking folic acid. Typically you should start taking the supplement of folic acid before two or three months of conception.
Thus, it will adapt to a good folate level and prepare your body to prevent several defects in your baby’s body.
You should continue taking the supplements during the period of pregnancy—especially the first twelve months when the baby’s spinal cord is forming.
If you have a history of giving birth to a baby with a neural tube defect, or if your partner has a neural tube defect, then there is a high chance that your baby may have these defects also. So, start taking folic acid supplements immediately.
Some Precautions and Warnings
Though taking folic acid supplements risk-free in most cases, still excess usage can cause harm. So, before taking the supplement, you better know some precautions and warnings.
To prevent some congenital disabilities, it is recommended to have a folic acid supplement of 300-400 mcg daily.
There is another type of folic acid supplement, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF). You can take this folic acid supplement for more than 400 mcg daily. It is better if you stick within 0.8 mg but do not exceed the limit of 1 mg.
For mothers under 18 years old, the max dose of folic acid supplement you can take daily is 800 mcg during the breastfeeding period. And for mothers who are more than 18 years old, the max dose of folic acid supplement you can take daily is 1000 mcg.
Children also can take folic acid supplements in the recommended dose. But children should not take folic acid more than the daily limit. It is harmful if they exceed the upper limits.
The daily limits for children are
- 1-3 Years: 300 mcg
- 4-8 Years: 400 mcg
- 9-13 Years: 600 mcg
- 14-18 Years: 800 mcg
Also, the L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) supplement is safe for children. L-5-MTHF is safe, even up to 400 mcg for the children.
Procedures to widen narrowed arteries (angioplasty)
People who are suffering from narrowed arteries should not take folic acid supplements. Especially those who are recovering from narrowed arteries by using the procedure of angioplasty should not take folic acid.
Vitamin B6 and B12 might deteriorate the situation of narrowed arteries.
What to avoid?
One thing you should know, you can not get too much folic acid from natural foods. But you can get a lot of folic acid from fortified food and other synthetic sources.
It is not a good thing to take folic acid supplements and, at the same time, eat fortified foods also. It may hide the signs of the deficiency of Vitamin B12 and can cause damage to the nerve.
So, if you are taking folic acid supplements, you should avoid fortified foods like fortified bread or flour.
Why would a doctor prescribe folic acid?
Doctors prescribe it when women try for a baby and want to prepare the body for carrying a healthy baby. Folic acid supplements help to prevent several birth defects in babies. It prevents health issues in babies and keeps the baby healthy in the womb.
Why does the doctor suggest taking folic acid supplements of more than 5 mg daily?
Sometimes, doctors may suggest you take more than 4 mg of folic acid supplements in some instances. If your partner has a neural tube defect, it might come into your baby. That is why doctors suggest taking folic acid supplements enough so that the flaws can’t occur in your baby’s body.
Can folic acid cause weight gain?
Increasing folic acid through a healthy diet and taking natural supplements should not cause weight gain. Folate deficiency may cause weight loss. By replenishing your folate level, you can prevent the weight loss caused by deficiency. This will help you gain healthy weight.
In which food can I get folic acid?
If you do not want to take medicine, you can get folic acid supplements naturally. Many foods have a good amount of folate or folic acids, such as leafy greens, broccoli, eggs, beets, citrus fruits, legumes, peanuts, beans, mushrooms, animal liver, and kidneys, sunflower seeds, seafood, etc.
That should clear up your doubts on “Can Folic Acid Make Your Period Late?”
Folic acid doesn’t mess with your period. It may enlarge your period a little. However, you shouldn’t worry about that.