Most women don't even think about a prenatal multivitamin until they see the little pink line on the pregnancy test that indicates there's a baby on the way. But you might want to reconsider if you're in your childbearing years.
A prenatal multivitamin is one of the first purchases that expecting mothers make when they find out they're pregnant. But multiple experts have come forward to say that there is a lot of benefit to be found from taking a prenatal vitamin when you're in your childbearing years, regardless of whether you're planning to get pregnant or even if you're having sex. It may sound strange at first, but let's break it down.
Why You Should Take a Prenatal When You're Having Sex
Dr. Jolene Brighten, a naturopathic physician and expert on hormones, recently posted a reel on her Instagram explaining that any woman who is sexually active (and thus exposed to sperm) should be taking a prenatal vitamin regularly. You've probably had a doctor tell you before that fertility awareness method (FAM) isn't reliable and use that as a reason why you should take a prenatal while you're having sex, but Dr. Brighten points out that no birth control is 100% reliable. So you should make sure your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs just in case you do get pregnant.
"All birth control prevention methods can fail and you could get pregnant if you’re exposing yourself to sperm on the regular," she wrote in the caption of her post. "This is why doctors recommend being on a prenatal just in case."
Additionally, a prenatal has added use for if you're on the birth control pill because "medications like the pill deplete nutrients," according to Dr. Brighten. There are certain things your body ends up lacking if you're taking a hormonal form of birth control, and the prenatal can help immensely with restoring those nutrients. "These nutrients are important for your health," she concluded.
Of course this is something that very few doctors will tell their patients who are on the birth control pill, so don't be afraid to ask your OBGYN about this to learn more information.
Why You Should Take a Prenatal Even If You're Not Having Sex
I've been a health and fitness coach for almost a decade, and I've heard from numerous dietitians that it's highly recommended that women take a prenatal in their childbearing years, even if they're not having sex at all. The prenatal multivitamins offer added nutrients that your body can really use during your fertile years, and those nutrients are just as useful to you if you're not having sex or not planning to get pregnant.
Dr. Brighten agrees with this idea and encourages women to regularly take a prenatal when they're in their childbearing years, even if they're not getting busy in the bedroom. Her reasoning? "Options. I want you to have options because I have had many patients change their mind," she wrote. "Maybe you won’t. But no matter what you decide, these nutrients are important for your health."
Besides, what I've noticed (as have many of my clients who take a prenatal even when they're not having sex) is that the prenatal vitamin gives me shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails — plus the boost of energy and a clarity of mind. All this comes in handy whether you're having sex or not. That's not to say you can't achieve any of that with a regular multivitamin, but most of my female clients report back to me that all of these benefits are heightened in a positive way after they switched over to the prenatal vitamin.
Of course every woman will have a different experience with prenatal vitamins and you should choose what's best for you, but if you haven't considered taking a prenatal vitamin and you're smack dab in the middle of your fertile years, you should at least give it a thought and see if it's right for you.