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What increases the risk for open spina bifida?

Although the precise cause of open spina bifida remains unknown, there are several known risk factors it's important to be aware of. Perhaps the most well known risk factor for having a baby with open spina bifida is having an insufficient amount of the vitamin B-9 (folate or folic acid) in your system. Certain anti-seizure medications like Depakene taken during pregnancy may interfere with the baby's absorption of folate, leading to a higher incidence of open spina bifida. Diabetes and obesity have both been linked to higher rates of open spina bifida. Lastly, elevating your body temperature by just a few degrees during the first months of pregnancy is also believed to increase risk of spina bifida, so avoid tanning beds and hot tubs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.