What questions should I ask my provider about anencephaly?

If you’re planning to get pregnant, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to lower your risk of having a baby with anencephaly. Ideally, talk to your provider long before you become pregnant so you can make a plan together.

If you have had a child with a neural tube defect, talk to your provider before getting pregnant again. Your provider may recommend taking more folic acid (4,000 mcg instead of 400 mcg) to reduce your risk of having another baby with a neural tube defect. But taking too much folic acid can be dangerous, so be sure to follow your provider’s guidelines.

A note from Cleveland Clinic
It isn’t always possible to prevent anencephaly and other neural tube defects. But by planning ahead and staying healthy, you can significantly lower your risk of having a baby with the condition. If you’re of childbearing age, you should take 400 mcg of folic acid every day, even if you don’t plan to become pregnant. Talk to your provider about how you can stay healthy, especially if you’ve had a child with a neural tube defect before.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/18/2020.

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