Sexually Active Teens Miss Chance to Prevent Spina Bifida
If they do not get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day before
and during their pregnancy, women face higher risks of having a baby with
neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Experts recommend that women who are
sexually active during their childbearing years take enough folic acid every
day, in case they become pregnant.
In a recent report, researchers say not enough young women are getting this
message. After surveying about 200 teen-age clients of reproductive clinics in
Houston, they found only 12% of the respondents took a daily multivitamin with
the recommended amount of folic acid. And few regularly ate folate-rich foods
such as spinach and fortified cereals.
The ability to buy these types of foods and supplements may contribute to
how many women consume enough folic acid.