Here’s What You Should Know About MTHFR Gene and Pregnancy
When it comes to fertility, there are many things in your body that can have an impact on your chances of becoming pregnant.
While you often focus on things like medication, diet, and exercise to improve your health and perhaps even enhance your fertility, it’s important to understand that genes can also have an impact.
In this article, we are going to take a look at how mutations in your MTHFR gene could impact your pregnancy and overall fertility.
Mutations in The MTHFR Gene and Pregnancy
Your MTHFR gene affects the process of converting folic acid to folate, an active form of the vitamin, in your body.
These genes are also involved in the production of certain antioxidants and amino acids that your body relies on continuously.
Mutations in this gene can cause certain complications in your body. Some of these complications can affect pregnancy, but this does not mean you cannot become pregnant if you have MTHFR gene mutations.
You should ensure you are aware of the risks, as this gives you a chance to look for ways to improve the chance of a successful pregnancy and to limit the risk of complications you will face.
When you have an MTHFR gene mutation, and you become pregnant, the major risks that you should be aware of include preeclampsia, congenital birth defects, and polycystic ovarian disease.
Preeclampsia results in high blood pressure while you are pregnant. This can have implications for both you and your growing baby. In terms of congenital birth defects, both anencephaly and spina bifida have been linked to MTHFR gene mutations.
Anencephaly is when there are missing parts of the skull or brain present at birth. When spina bifida occurs, it can result in nerve-related damage due to a protruding effect on the baby’s back.
Mutations of the MTHFR gene can result in high homocysteine levels in your body. This has been associated with the polycystic ovarian disease.
Additionally, if you develop the polycystic ovarian disease during pregnancy, then you are also more likely to have gestational diabetes. This refers to diabetes that first shows up during pregnancy.
Taking Precautions Before And During Pregnancy
There is no sure way to guarantee mutations in the MTHFR gene won’t affect your pregnancy. With this said, you can take some precautions that could potentially help to lower the risks associated with a mutated MTHFR gene and pregnancy.
One of the most important precautions you should take is to use a folic acid supplement. The MTHFR gene plays a role in converting folic acid into folate, and mutations in the gene could cause a folate deficiency.
By taking about 400 mcg of these supplements every day, you can help to reduce the risk of these deficiencies. If you are considered to be at a high risk of complications, then your doctor may prescribe you a higher dose of folic acid.
Sometimes, your doctor may rather recommend taking a prenatal vitamin supplement that contains L-methyl folate. This may assist in preventing anemia while you are pregnant.
Are There Any Treatments Available?
There are certain treatments that have shown promising results when managing pregnancy in women who have mutations in their MTHFR gene.
Your doctor may want to see you on a regular basis to detect any signs of complications. When your provider is concerned about blood clots forming, they may prescribe you a daily dose of aspirin. Sometimes, injections with heparin or Lovenox are used to help in the prevention of blood clot formulation.
These injections are useful to reduce the risk of blood clots between the uterine wall and the placenta.
A personalized treatment is required as the effects can vary from one woman to another. You may also need to undergo regular tests to determine the efficacy of these treatments and to make any necessary modifications.
Our Conclusion About The MTHFR Gene and Pregnancy
Mutations in your MTHFR gene can sometimes affect your fertility and become a hazard during pregnancy.
Research has found that there are some precautions that can help to reduce the risks of mutations of the MTHFR gene and pregnancy, such as taking folic acid supplements.
Certain treatments may also help to prevent complications that are commonly found in women with MTHFR gene mutations.