Recurrence Prevention

All women who could become pregnant are at risk for having a pregnancy affected by Spina Bifida. Women who have:

  • A child with Spina Bifida
  • Spina Bifida themselves
  • Already had a pregnancy affected by any neural tube defect
are at greater risk of having a child affected by Spina Bifida or another neural tube defect (NTD). These women have an increased risk of having a future affected pregnancy or recurrence. If any of these apply, you should talk with your health care provider about your folic acid needs.

Folic Acid Recommendations for ALL Women of Childbearing Age:

  • All women of childbearing age need a daily dose of 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of synthetic folic acid, in addition to a healthy diet.
  • This amount is available through a multivitamin, available in stores.

Additional Recommendations for Women with a Family History of NTDs:

  • A higher prescription dose of 4000 micrograms (4.0 mg) beginning one to three months before pregnancy and in the first trimester of pregnancy, reduces the risk of having another affected pregnancy by up to 70 percent.
  • This amount is available through prescription of four 1.0 mg tablets daily.