Taking a prenatal multivitamin every day during pregnancy may reduce the risk of losing the baby by 55% compared to not taking a multivitamin, according to a study published in 2016 in Fertility and Sterility.
The study was led by Dr Germaine Buck Louis from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The researchers recruited 344 couples and followed them whilst trying to conceive and then for 7 weeks post-conception.
Results showed that the overall incidence of pregnancy loss was 28% and that taking a prenatal multivitamin every single day during pregnancy may reduce the risk of losing the baby by 55% compared to not taking a multivitamin. In addition, the researchers noted a greater risk of pregnancy loss in women over 35. Caffeine consumption (more than two caffeinated drinks daily) was also associated with a higher risk of pregnancy loss.
Dr Buck Louis commented,
"Our data suggests that couples’ lifestyles are associated with the risk of pregnancy loss, including during the preconception period, emphasizing the need for continued efforts to promote healthy lifestyles before pregnancy begins, that is, preconception guidance.
Couples might continue to be advised that advanced age increases the risk of pregnancy loss, and to limit caffeinated intake to fewer than 3 daily beverages irrespective of source and that women should continue to take daily multivitamins before and during pregnancy consistent with clinical guidance.
Collectively, these data are supportive of a beneficial association between vitamin usage and pregnancy loss.”
Buck Louis, GM et al. Lifestyle and pregnancy loss in a contemporary cohort of women recruited before conception: the LIFE Study. Fertility and Sterility. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.03.009