Anemia and Pregnancy

I was informed that I am slightly anemic. However, I have been taking prenatal + iron pills everyday for the past 3 months. I am trying to become pregnant. Should I be concerned?

t's true that iron is very important in pregnancy. I am a little skeptical of the diagnosis of anemia for women on lab values alone. First, the lab should have different normal values for women as opposed to men. Then, there should be other symptoms besides the lab value. Also keep in mind there are other circumstances--such as athletic training--that inspire the body to produce blood with a higher water content, thus giving the false appearance of a low iron content. (Really the total amount of iron is normal, but the blood tests are sensitive to relative amounts).

A daily vitamin can't hurt. Be careful with iron supplements. They can cause stomach upset and constipation. Also, don't bother with the extended release pills. Iron in only absorbed in an early part of the intestine. So these pills won't do any extra good. When a woman suspects anemia she should make sure she is evaluated using a normal value for iron with a standard for women. Be evaluated for anemia on full physical, history, and if indicated, further testing. Your doctor can proceed from there.

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