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Multivitamins reduce risk of ovulatory infertility

Regular use (3-6 times per week) of multivitamin supplements containing folic acid cuts the risk of ovulatory infertility by almost half, according to the results of a prospective cohort study.

The study included over 18,000 married, premenopausal participants in the Nurses' Health Study II.  The women had no history of infertility and attempted pregnancy or became pregnant between 1991 and 1999.

During 8 years of follow-up, 438 women experienced infertility with an ovulatory cause.  The researchers found an inverse association between frequency of multivitamin use and ovulatory infertility.  Women who consume 0-2 oral supplements per week are at a approximately two times greater risk for ovulatory infertility then women who consume 3-6 oral supplements per week. 

The authors believe that the association is mediated in part by folic acid.

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Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, et al.  Use of multivitamin, intake of B vitamins, and risk of ovulatory infertility.  Fertil Steril. 2008;89:668-676.