Obviously, this is undesirable when women discontinue the ‘Pill’ in order to become pregnant.
The paper, Oral contraceptives: effects on folate and vitamin B12 metabolism, sums up ‘the Pill’ on folate levels:
This is a significant enough of a concern; however, it gets potentially worse.
Add in MTHFR defects which are present in over 50% of certain populations. Mexican and Italian ancestry are most at risk for MTHFR defects.
MTHFR is an enzyme that is needed to make the most active form of folate, methylfolate.
Those with C677T MTHFR mutations produce dysfunctional MTHFR enzymes. This limits the production of methylfolate. Specifically, the heterozygous MTHFR C677T mutation limits the MTHFR enzyme by approximately 30% and those with homozygous C677T MTHFR defect limits the MTHFR enzyme by approximately 70%.
If women take specific types of oral contraceptives and also have the MTHFR C677T mutation, then their methylfolate levels are highly likely to drop below normal thereby causing significant issues.
What are the potentially significant issues caused by the mix of oral contraception and MTHFR C677T defects? Anything that relates to diminished levels of folate and methylfolate – that is a long list.
Safe Birth Control Options
Special thanks to Keyena McKenzie, ND for providing these options
- Fertility Awareness Method: read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.
- Paraguard IUD: hormone free IUD which can be left in place for 10 years
- Vasectomy: if the couple is done having children
Not satisfied with those birth control options and you want to remain on ‘the Pill’?
Be sure to keep your methylfolate and methylcobalamin levels healthy. Consider taking 1/2 to 1 tablet daily of Active B12 with Methylfolate. Simply place under your tongue in the morning and allow to dissolve. If you have the MTHFR C677T mutation, you may need more than 1 tablet daily. Watch for the methylfolate side effects – if you get them – you may be taking too much methylfolate.
Questions for you – please comment below:
- Did you know about the connection between ‘the Pill’, decreased folate levels and MTHFR?
- What do you use for birth control?
- Do you think ‘the Pill’ contributed to your pregnancy complications due to diminished folate levels?