Prenatal Vitamins and Contraception: Safety and More

It is safe to take prenatal vitamins while using birth control. However, people should only take them in the months before pregnancy and during pregnancy.

Prenatal vitamins usually contain a special formula that can provide the developing fetus with the nutrients necessary for its growth and development.

A doctor will likely recommend that a person start taking prenatal vitamins before conception. A person who wants to become pregnant will have to stop using the form of birth control she has chosen.

This article reviews the use of prenatal and birth control vitamins, safety, and more.

It is safe for a person to start taking prenatal vitamins while using birth control.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends taking prenatal vitamins in the months leading up to pregnancy.

However, prenatal vitamins are not intended for long-term use and a person should only take them if they are planning a pregnancy in the near future.

Does the type of contraception make a difference?

Once a person stops using birth control, they can get pregnant. How quickly this can happen can vary.

Here are some examples of birth control:

A person should speak with a doctor about planning to get pregnant. They can recommend when a person should stop using birth control and start taking prenatal vitamins.

In general, a doctor will likely recommend that a person start taking their vitamins a few months before trying to get pregnant.

Although vitamins can vary in their exact formula, they will likely contain many of the vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy.

These include:

Some doctors may recommend a specific brand of prenatal vitamin. People shouldn’t take more than the recommended dose of their prenatal vitamin because some vitamins can cause birth defects at higher doses.

A healthcare professional will recommend additional supplements to help fill any deficiencies.

If a person takes the correct dose of prenatal vitamins, they should not experience any side effects even if they are still using birth control.

However, taking too much of a particular vitamin or mineral can cause side effects. For example, taking too much vitamin A can lead to:

A person may also experience side effects from their birth control, which may include:

People can often get all the nutrients they need from eating a balanced diet and should focus on rich in nutrients foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. These foods contain many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that a person needs.

If a person is concerned that they have a vitamin deficiency, they should talk to a doctor about taking other vitamins and supplements.

A person can start taking prenatal vitamins before stopping birth control. They should not interact or cause problems with hormonal birth control or other methods.

A person should speak with a doctor about their intention to become pregnant. They can offer suggestions on when to stop using birth control and start taking vitamins. They will likely recommend that a person start taking prenatal vitamins a few months before trying to conceive.

Once a person stops birth control, they can get pregnant right away. This means that there will likely be an overlap between their vitamins and birth control. If a person has questions about which vitamins to take, they should talk to a doctor.

Patricia J. Callender