One common thing women in this situation do is try to increase their chances of having a successful pregnancy by taking a prenatal vitamin. But this could just be making the situation worse! How? If you have a MTHFR genetic mutation, and that’s why you’re having miscarriages, taking prenatal vitamins could make you continue to have miscarriages.
So what is MTHFR? MTHFR is an abbreviation for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (yes, you can see why it’s shortened to MTHFR!). MTHFR is an enzyme that helps your body convert folate into an active form that can be used by your body. If you have a MTHFR genetic mutation, your body may not be able to effectively convert folate, which can lead to low levels of folate and vitamin B12, and raised levels of homocysteine.
This can be problematic as elevated homocysteine levels may cause blood clotting. It’s been hypothesized that these blood clots may affect the placenta and/or fetus, causing miscarriage.
The MTHFR genetic mutations are quite common, affecting approximately 60-70% of the population. However, some people are affected more severely than others – you can have a MTHFR genetic mutation but be asymptomatic. If you’ve been suffering from recurrent miscarriages, genetic testing for MTHFR may be warranted. You can request testing from your GP or I can organise testing for you during an appointment.
If you do discover you have a MTHFR genetic mutation, it’s best to check any supplements you’re taking don’t contain folic acid and also avoid folic acid in bread. Focus on consuming lots of folate-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, edamame, okra, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts and lettuce. Cooking destroys folate, so it’s best to eat these foods raw where possible, or lightly cooked.
Imagine finally knowing why you’ve been miscarrying, and now you can take positive steps towards finally having a successful pregnancy and meeting your rainbow baby!
Of course, there may be many more reasons why you’ve been miscarrying – MTHFR mutations are just one small factor. You can find out more and start boosting your fertility in my FREE 7-Day Preconception Challenge starting 7th January 2019. Let’s make 2019 the year you have a baby! Enter your details below to register now.