General Question

BraveWarrior's avatar

Is it ok to take OTC prenatal vitamins if I'm not pregnant?

Asked by BraveWarrior (1326 points ) September 10th, 2010

I am hoping to become pregnant and am currently taking a multi-vitamin and an extra folic acid supplement. I’m 46 yr old & my husband is 47 & the only time I’ve been pregnant resulted in a miscarriage (at only about 2–3 weeks gestation) several years ago. I’m thinking it might be helpful due to my age for me to already be on a prenatal vitamin even before conception, but am wondering if there is anything that might be unhealthy (like too much iron) in a prenatal vitamin to take for months without being pregnant? Thanks very much.

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13 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

The vitamins are intended to be taken before you get pregnant, so I’d say you’re just fine starting them whenever you’d like.

If you have any questions, there are generally instructions on the packaging or included with the vitamins. If you have the option, a doctor’s visit to discuss your plans to get pregnant might not be a bad idea either. Sometimes they’ll have other recommendations specific to you and your history.

Good luck!

chels's avatar

Yes. It’s totally and completely fine.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is fine. If you are curious your doctor can check your folic acid and your iron with a blood test.

Seek's avatar

Absolutely. Iron is actually a very necessary component of a healthy conceiving body. My midwife couldn’t pump enough iron into me! ^_^

BraveWarrior's avatar

@funkdaddy @Mom2BDec2010 @chels @JLeslie @Seek_Kolinahr Thank you all. I do know that you can overdose on too much Iron (see link link link ) and that you can take too much of vitamins that are not water soluable, but I guess that prenatal vitamins are in the “safe zone” for all these. I’ll be sure to read the labels of the OTC ones I find. I have a very hard time with large pills/capsules so I’m hoping I can find a viable OTC prenatal that I would be able to get down easier than the usual prescription “horse pills.” Waiting on the GYN visit for the day when a home test finally confirms good news :) Thanks again for your responses!

JLeslie's avatar

@BraveWarrior there are chewable prescription prenatal you can get from your doctor. Also, you can take a regular one a day and an extra Slowfe iron pill and a separate folic acid if you are concerned about those two. Honestly just taking a regular one a day is probably just fine if you are going to know within a couple of weeks after you become pregnant, and then get the prescription right away. The embryo is only taking from you for about 11 days when you first miss your period.

Seek's avatar

@BraveWarrior

There is a liquid prenatal supplement that my midwife had offered me. The cost was out of my budget (not terribly pricey, but my husband had to take a lot of time off work to take care of me, and we were low on cash) so I don’t know the details and can’t remember the name, but it is available. Here are the results of my Froogle search.

From what Bea told me, the iron in the liquid supplement is more easily absorbed than the pill, and probably won’t make you as sick to your stomach.

filmfann's avatar

Seriously, check out female use of Viagra. It increases blood to that area, and allows an egg to plant easier.

BraveWarrior's avatar

@JLeslie @Seek_Kolinahr Thank you for letting me know there are chewable & liquid prescription prenatal vitamins available; I’ll keep that in mind! I went to Walgreens & there was a chewable OTC prenatal there, but it was around $20 for 30 days. I was able to find an OTC prenatal there with capsules that are small & thin enough for me to swallow and around $20 for 90 days. I’ll see after I get a + test if there is either a chewable or liquid prescription prenatal that will cost me less monthly than the OTC.
@filmfann the next time I go to my GYN, I might just ask about that – smiles!

JLeslie's avatar

@BraveWarrior oh, have you missed your period already?

BraveWarrior's avatar

@JLeslie Sadly I got it 5 days late. Here’s hoping for next month! :)

JLeslie's avatar

I’m sorry. Had you tested positive?

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