Other than what the name dictates, are prenatal vitamins used for any other medical reason?

I ask this due to the interaction I've heard about birth-control pills being used to regulate menstruation, and as a male, I don't really have a lot of knowledge regarding these situations. Are there any uses for prenatal vitamins other than pregnancy?

  • Hello and welcome to Health.SE! I edited your question a bit to remove personal information. If I edited out anything important, please tell me or edit it back in.
    – YviDe
    Dec 2, 2015 at 19:59
  • Thank you for the help, although it kinda changed the question altogether. The question is regarding pre-conception pills (ie: Pills marketed at woman who want children), and not birth-control pills (preventing pregnancy)
    – Oak
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:30
  • Oh, I'm sorry! You used birth control pills at one point and I just assumed you meant to use it throughout. Really sorry. Apparently, Denn thought the same, he answered before I edited... They are usually called prenatal vitamins, I think
    – YviDe
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


There's a number of medical reasons to take the pill other than preventing pregnancy :

  • Regulating menstruation to avoid having irregular, overly frequent, overly abundant or painful periods, as well as premenstrual syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Acne


Edited because I did in fact understood birth control pills and not prenatal supplementation.

As a vitamin supplementation, it could in theory be used by people who lack certain nutrients, namely folic acid and iron (iron deficiency in particular is common in people who are menstruating). However, the Mayo Clinic doesn't recommend it:

However, if you're not pregnant and not planning to become pregnant, high levels of certain nutrients over a long period of time may actually be more harmful than helpful.


  • You and me both thought the OP meant birth control pills, but he just clarifies and meant prenatal vitamins
    – YviDe
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:39
  • @YviDe Oh this will change a few things! Thank you for letting me know!
    – Denn
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:48
  • As a side note I didn't know if it was be better to delete my previous answer and create a new one or edit it, so I did the latter. Feel free to correct me if need be.
    – Denn
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:57
  • Yes, my apologies. The label on the box I saw read (literally) pre-conception. Hence why the lack of correct terminology =) Regardless, thank you for the 2-in-1
    – Oak
    Dec 3, 2015 at 3:11

For most people, no.

Prenatal vitamins usually contain folate acid, some also contain B12, iodine, and/or vitamin D. For deficiencies in the last three, usually, special supplements will be given.

However, certain medications actually mess with the foliate cycle in the body, and require patients to take supplemental folic acid. One of those is methotrexate. Some doctors prescribe higher dose folic acid to be taken once weekly, others recommend just taking a folic acid supplement daily - which are usually marketed as prenatal vitamins. Patients taking that often enjoy the irony of taking prenatal vitamins alongside a medication that is actively harmful to a pregnancy.

So it's rare, but possible.

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