Original Investigation

Awareness And Use Of Folic Acid Among Reproductive Age And Pregnant Women


  • Gülengül N. Köken
  • Aysel Uysal Derbent
  • Onur Erol
  • Nimet Saygın
  • Hülya Ayık
  • Mehmet Karaca

Received Date: 09.01.2013 Accepted Date: 24.04.2013 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2013;14(2):87-91 PMID: 24592081


Folic acid supplementation during the pre-conception period and first trimester of pregnancy reduces the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs). In this study, our aim is to investigate knowledge and use of folic acid among women attending our clinic.

Material and Methods:

Between January 2012 and June 2012, 817 participants, consisting of 345 pregnant and 472 non-pregnant women, were enrolled in this survey. A questionnaire including socio-demographic information, knowledge and use of folic acid was applied.


48.2% of participants were aware of folic acid for the prevention of congenital anomalies. Knowledge and use of folic acid increase with socio-economic status and educational level. Participants who were already knowledgeable about folic acid cited health care professionals as common sources of information. Although 88.2% of the pregnancies were planned among the currently pregnant women, only 14.2% of them stated that they had used folic acid in the pre-conception period. The use of folic acid during the first trimester among pregnant women was 48.6%. Furthermore, 18.4% of participants had not used folic acid and 29.3% of them had not remembered whether they had or not. Even though 94.4% of health care professionals had heard about folic acid, 28.3% reported that they had used folic acid before pregnancy.


It is thought that there is a relatively high incidence of NTD in Turkey, which is due to inadequate information about NTDs and the use of folic acid. Primarily health care professionals such as midwives, nurses and family physicians should aim to inform all reproductive age women about folic acid for the prevention of NTDs, who should be encouraged to take the supplement when planning pregnancy.

Keywords: Folic acid, neural tube defect, pregnancy