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Should You Take a Prenatal When You're Not Pregnant?


Prenatal vitamins during pregnancy are an obvious yes, but are you considering popping prenatals when you’re not pregnant? There’s plenty of motivation to do so, whether it’s for healthy hair and nails, fertility benefits or a nutritional boost. We checked in with Perelel Medical Co-Founder, Dr. Banafsheh Bayati, MD, OB/GYN, FACOG to learn the possible benefits and risks of taking prenatals when you’re not pregnant.

Firstly, is it safe?

According to Dr. Bayati, yes—and even encouraged. “It is a very good idea to plan a pregnancy. However, over half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Thus any woman of reproductive years should consider taking at least a folate supplement regularly, if not a prenatal vitamin.”

There are exceptions to be aware of: “Occasionally there are reasons why you should not take a prenatal vitamin that contains certain ingredients, like iron for those with an iron storage disease. But this is exactly why it’s important to discuss your plans with your doctor and find the right prenatals for you,” Dr. Bayati suggests.

Are there benefits to taking a prenatal when not pregnant?

“Prenatals are great for your skin, hair and nails as well as for energy and mood. Supplements, however, should be taken with care to make sure they are clean and smartly designed for your needs. They can be prescribed to help patients who are looking to optimize their health,” Dr. Bayati says.

Will a prenatal help me get pregnant?

Here’s some great news! “Prenatal vitamins definitely aid in having a healthier pregnancy. In regards to infertility, CoQ10 has been shown to help aid both male and female fertility. But finding the right prenatal or supplements is smarter than just taking anything over the counter.”

We’ve included 50 mg of CoQ10 in our Conception Support Pack, which is specifically formulated for prepping your body for pregnancy. 

When should I begin taking prenatals if I’m thinking about trying to conceive in the future?

“It is a very good idea to prepare for your pregnancy at least six to 12 months ahead of conception,” Dr. Bayati suggests. “It is best to find out if you have any risk factors or important family history to consider before conception. And part of this includes being placed on an optimal prenatal vitamin that is right for you.”

Ready to start TTC? Shop our OB/GYN-formulated Conception Support Pack to start building your nutrient stores now. Plus, share your fertility story and find support by joining our community Village by Perelel on Geneva.

Written by Jessica Lopez. Jessica Lopez is a freelance writer, digital content creator, and new mother. She has covered all lifestyle topics ranging from bridal to beauty for publications including Brides Magazine, Byrdie, THE/THIRTY, and more. Walking wide-eyed into motherhood has inspired her to connect with other parents through her writing and shared experience. You can follow more of her journey @Jessica.H.Lopez.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.