Excess Folic Acid During Fertility Treatment May Increase Chances of Twins
A new British study suggests that a woman increasing her folic acid intake during fertility treatment, in which more than one embryo is transferred, also increases her chance of having twins from IVF. Folic acid, a B vitamin has been known to protect against birth defects such as spina bifida. Since the U.S. health department started recommending supplements of folic acid during pregnancy in 1992, the occurrence rate of spina bifida has dropped by 32%, according to the CDC.
The research conducted by Paul Haggarty at University of Aberdeen observed the folate levels in blood of 602 women undergoing fertility treatment. Results showed that women with high blood concentrations of folate had a higher rate of twin births. However, folate levels did not affect the overall chances of getting pregnant. Drs. Hummel and Kettel prescribe folic acid supplements to our patients. It is important, however, that patients do not use other folic acid supplements (other than the prescribed prenatal vitamins and folic acid).