Skip to main content
Accessibility  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms of Service

Sexually Active Women Should Take Folic Acid Everyday

  • Published: 2011-03-16 (Revised/Updated 2012-04-22) : Author: Association for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus - Ability Beyond Disability
  • Synopsis: The Go Folic initiative will be launched at the House of Commons on Wednesday by the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.
Folic Acid
Folic Acid - Also known as folate or folacin when it naturally occurs in foods, is a B vitamin that is essential for the healthy development of a baby's spine, brain and skull during the early weeks of pregnancy. All people need folic acid. But folic acid is very important for women who are able to get pregnant. Folic acid is found naturally in some foods, including leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans (legumes), and whole grains. Enriched breads, cereals and other grain products also contain folic acid. If you don't get enough folic acid from the foods you eat, you can also take it as a dietary supplement.

Main Document

A major new campaign will urge all sexually active women who might become pregnant to take the correct dose of folic acid everyday.

The Go Folic! initiative will be launched at the House of Commons on Wednesday by the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH).

GoFolic! aims to improve womens' folic acid intake and so reduce the incidence of Neural Tube Defects such as spina bifida, which occur in the early weeks of pregnancy.

Every day in the UK, an average of two babies conceived - 900 each year - will go on to develop a Neural Tube Defect (NTD). Up to 72% of these defects could be prevented if women took folic acid tablets at the right time and dosage.

However, at present, only 5.5 per cent of women take folic acid correctly and the incidence of Neural Tube Defects remains stubbornly high, of ten with tragic consequences.

NTD's happen within the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. It is therefore essential that women take the correct dose of folic acid daily - ideally for three months - before they become pregnant.

The Go Folic! campaign aims to inform and motivate women to act on this information and impress upon them that a healthy balanced diet is not enough to achieve the required levels of folic acid in their bodies to help prevent NTDs developing in their unborn babies.

Women need to take 400mcg of folic acid daily prior to conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some women may need a higher dose, particularly if there is a family history of spina bifida or if the mother has diabetes or coeliac disease or if she takes anti-epileptic medicines.

ASBAH Chief Executive Jackie Bland has called on everyone who can influence women on this critical issue to get behind the campaign and help reduce the often tragic consequences of NTDs.

"NTDs are a serious health threat which can lead to enormous challenges and painful decisions. The most serious form, anencephaly, means that the baby will not live beyond birth, and many babies born with spina bifida face a life with serious, multiple disabilities. We can drastically reduce the incidence of NTDs if we can get women to take folic acid correctly.

We need a concerted effort from everyone - not just health professionals - to get this message across to women: If you are sexually active and might become pregnant, take a folic acid tablet everyday; it's simple to Go Folic!"

For more information, please visit

Similar Topics

1 : Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Adults : Sexual Diversity.
2 : LGBT Health: People with Disabilities : Thomas C. Weiss.
3 : Chlamydia: Male and Female Symptoms and Treatment Information : Disabled World.
4 : Gonorrhea Rapidly Becoming Treatment Resistant : Thomas C. Weiss.
5 : Gender Identity Issues More Likely Among Children with Autism or ADHD : Springer.
From our Sexuality section - Full List (22 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : Fighting My Cancer as Much as Possible - Why Many Patients Join Phase 1 Clinical Trials
2 : Social Stigma Can Stand in the Way of Food Insecurity Screening
3 : Being a Clone of Itself May Make Toenail Fungus Vulnerable to New Treatments
4 : How Often Do Medical Problems Lead to Bankruptcy?
5 : Videocamp Launches $400,000 Fund and Challenges Filmmakers to Create a Film About Inclusive Education


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.