There are many kinds of birth control methods that have hormones in them. These are the birth control pills, patch, ring, implant and shot. They are all very safe and effective ways to prevent pregnancy. However, the hormone methods may increase your body’s need for a few vitamins like folic acid and vitamins B 6 and 12. This is why it is great idea to take a multivitamin every day while you are using a hormone method. It won’t hurt you and even if you eat pretty healthy, it will still help you.
One of the major vitamins in a multivitamin is folic acid. Folic acid is also called vitamin B9. This vitamin is very important for every part of your body. It also needs to be taken a few months before and during pregnancy to help a baby develop normally and not be born with serious problems. In addition to vitamin B 9 there are many other B vitamins that need to work together to keep you healthy and to help folic acid work its best.
The B vitamins help you remember things better because they help the brain and nervous system. They can affect your mood. If you don’t have enough of the B vitamins your energy level may go down and you might feel more emotional, nervous and irritable about things. B vitamins are very important for your bones to grow well and for you to have healthy skin, hair, eyes, and mouth.
What should you do to keep enough B vitamins in your body?
Take a multivitamin every day that has 400 mcg of folic acid in it. Eat foods that have good amounts of all the B vitamins in them. It is also important to not drink caffeine or alcohol and to not smoke. All of these cause the body to use up vitamins and minerals too fast. This means they cannot work the way they need to work to keep you looking and feeling healthy.
- Barbara Kass-Annese, RNCNP, MSN, is a clinician who has written extensively on the topic of vitamins and women’s health. She serves as a medical consultant to the Go Folic! Women’s Nutrition Project and is currently with the California Family Health Council. We are lucky that she has agreed to write a semi-monthly column, “Clinician’s Corner” for our blog. Look out for more of her contributions!