Purpose: To examine the association between folic acid (FA) supplementation obtained through either single FA tablets or multivitamins (MVs) and menstrual cycle characteristics among 5386 women aged 18-40 years, enrolled in an Internet-based study of Danish women attempting pregnancy during 2007-2011.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations of FA supplementation with menstrual cycle regularity; short (<27 days), long (30-33 days), and very long (≥34 days) cycle lengths; and duration and intensity of menstrual bleeding.
Results: Compared with nonuse, FA supplementation was associated with reduced odds of short cycle length (OR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.68-0.94) and a trend toward increased odds of very long cycle length (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 0.87-1.68) compared with cycle length of 27-29 days. The inverse association with short cycle length was stronger among 18- to 30-year-old women (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.53-0.87), nulliparous women (OR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.52-0.84), and women who used both FA and MVs (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.60-0.95). We found no clear association between FA supplementation and cycle regularity and duration and intensity of menstrual bleeding.
Conclusions: FA supplementation was inversely associated with short menstrual cycle length. This association was strongest among women aged 18-30 years, nulliparous women, and women who used both FA and MVs.
Keywords: Folic acid; Menstrual cycle characteristics; Preconceptional supplements; Vitamin supplementation.
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