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Folic Acid Chemoprophylaxis
US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

Clinicians should discuss use of daily multivitamins with folic acid with all women who are planning or capable of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects.

USPSTF Rating:
"A" Recommendation for women planning pregnancy
"B" Recommendation for women capable of pregnancy

(Note: The USPSTF updated this recommendation in 2009. The rankings included services recommended through 2004.)


  • Folic acid is a B vitamin. It is used in our bodies to make new cells. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby's brain and spine.
  • These birth defects are called neural tube defects. Women need to take folic acid every day starting before they are pregnant to help prevent neural tube defects.