Folic acid is part of the Vitamin B family and taking B Vitamins is always good for stress relief and to support your adrenals. In addition, Folic acid is a building block of your DNA, thus it helps with cellular turnover in every part of your body. Since our body literally turns itself over in tissues as little as every 7days and in our red blood cells and bone marrow every 120days, we literally ‘reinvent’ ourselves on a regular basis. So when you are thinking of conceiving, having a good building block for building good DNA is a smart idea, especially if you have any irregularity to your cycles. The recommended dose is 1mg or 1,000ng of folic acid; however, the best folic acid is methylfolate. The methyl helps the body most efficiently do it’s job in your body and since your body will benefit whether you are trying to conceive or not, it’s always a good idea. Folic acid is a water soluble supplement, meaning that it reaches many parts of your body quite easily and you excrete out the extra that your body doesn’t need in your ‘water’ or through your kidneys. Patients who have a family history of spina bifida or ‘open spine’ are even encouraged to take up to 4mg or 4,000ng of folic acid daily and to start up to 3-6months ahead of trying to conceive. So to answer your questions, yes it is always a good idea to start folic acid, especially methyl folic acid up to 3months before trying for conception to give your baby the best ‘pre-nutrition’ that you can.
One last tidbit; folic acid is also recommended when patients have an abnormal Pap smear as it is involved in cellular turnover and the cervix is certainly turning over cells on a regular basis. So if you have an ASCUS (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance) or even a mild dysplasia/CIN-1 (Cellular Intraepithelial Neoplasia-1), then taking Folic acid daily can help you reverse your Pap smear back to negative!