Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine demographic, obstetric and pregnancy care related factors of folic acid intake during preconceptional and prenatal period of pregnancy.
Study design: A questionnaire-based retrospective study was delivered at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pregnancy Care Centre. The frequency of folic acid intake was measured before and during pregnancy in 349 pregnant women.
Results: Factors influencing preconceptional folic acid consumption were planning of pregnancy, previous infertility therapy, multivitamin intake before pregnancy, and folic acid intake during pregnancy. Probability of taking folic acid during pregnancy increased with age, and decreased with gestational age. Earlier detection of pregnancy corresponded to a higher chance of folic acid intake. Prenatal folic acid intake significantly related to the earlier intake of folic acid, and prenatal multivitamin medication.
Conclusion: It is important to target women who are less likely to take periconceptional folic acid as well as to increase awareness of women of childbearing age in general through an intensive campaign and improved education.