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Pregnancy - Folic acid

Q: I am a 27 year old. I had an abortion 10 months back (on Jan 5 2001. Now I plan to get pregnant again in Jan 2002. My question is when should I start folic acid that too how much(mg).

A:You should start taking folic acid daily, one month before conceiving, in order to diminish as much as possible the risk for the fetus to develop some serious malformations. The daily dose should amount to 0.4 mg, unless you should be taking certain anti-epileptic drugs or unless you should have had a baby with anencephaly (serious defect of the brains and of the skull) or spina bifida(defective closure of the spine) in the past, in which case you should be taking 4.0 mg folic acid daily.

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