Is It Really Okay to Take Prenatal Vitamins When You’re Not Pregnant?


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Many women swear by the practice of taking prenatal vitamins even when they’re not pregnant. While this can be an option that may be beneficial in some ways, it can also be unhealthy in others, which is why it is probably best to leave the prenatal vitamins to expectant mothers.

Why Do Women Take Prenatal Vitamins When They’re Not Pregnant?

Some women choose this option in order to achieve certain benefits with the help of prenatal vitamins, such as having thicker hair and nails. Many women struggle with brittle nails and/or thin hair and want to find something that can help them with this issue but that will also have a low impact on their bodies. Prenatal vitamins seem like a good solution, as taking them while not pregnant won’t usually harm you. However, it is not the safest option when it comes to treating these issues.

The Dangers of Taking Prenatal Vitamins Without Being Pregnant

As stated previously, prenatal vitamins aren’t likely to harm you, but taking these supplements without being pregnant or trying to become pregnant can be problematic. In most cases, your body doesn’t need the high levels of certain types of nutrients that are in these vitamins, which can cause problems.

For example, regular adults only need about 400 mcg of folic acid every day. But women who are trying to have a baby or who are pregnant are recommended to take 400 to 800 mcg of this supplement every day because this can reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with neural tube defects. Those who take in too much folic acid without needing to could potentially experience issues with a B-12 deficiency, and the high levels of folic acid could mask the issue, causing the individual to not receive treatment right away.

Another issue with taking prenatal vitamins when you’re not pregnant is getting too much iron. These pills provide adults with more than their recommended daily intake of iron because pregnant women need more iron. Having too much iron in your system when you’re not pregnant, however, can potentially cause the nutrient to linger in your body and become toxic.

Prenatal Vitamins Can Be Helpful…

But as long as you take in the recommended daily amount of nutrients, you will be able to gain all the benefits that are in prenatal vitamins anyway. In addition, there are other supplements like biotin that can increase the strength of your hair and nails over time. This supplement can be taken by anyone, as long as the patient has the approval of their doctor and as long as the drug won’t interfere with any other medication the patient may be on.

It is important to talk to your doctor about your interest in prenatal vitamins and what they could do for you. In most cases, your doctor will be able to recommend another avenue that is better for your current state than taking these vitamins, which are specifically designed for pregnant individuals.

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