How Does Geritol Aid in Pregnancy?

Updated March 23, 2017

Geritol is a branded series of complex multivitamin supplements with added iron that GlaxoSmithKline manufactures and markets. It comes in either a liquid tonic or a tablet. The iron content in the tablets is either 9.5 mg or 16 mg. The tonic contains 18 mg of iron.

Geritol and Fertility

Rumours have circulated for many years claiming that Geritol helps women get pregnant. A grass-roots slogan for the product was that it "has a baby in every bottle!" But, is it true? The official response from the product's manufacturer says: "There is no evidence that Geritol can increase fertility and we don't make that claim. We're not sure how the rumour started, but there's no truth to it."

There is evidence, though, that iron supplements do increase a woman's ability to conceive. A study published in 2006 by Harvard School of Public Health and affiliated hospitals concluded that women who consumed iron supplements had a significantly lowered risk of ovulatory infertility than those same women who did not use iron supplements. According to Dr. Lawrence Jay Rappaport, iron supplements such as Geritol improve the character of a woman's cervical mucus and thus improve the chances of conception. Yet, if iron is the key ingredient, most physicians will tell you that taking a prescribed or even over-the-counter prenatal vitamin, such as PrimaCare, Rainbow Light or Solgar Prenatal, are far better than taking Geritol. That's because these items contain not only all the essential vitamins and minerals specially formulated for ovulating and pregnant women, but they contain higher amounts of iron, too.

Message board entries fill the Internet, however, from women who swear they became pregnant after taking Geritol over a period of time. Most exerts will agree that simply taking Geritol alone won't help a woman get pregnant, but it is better than not taking any supplement at all. Without any definitive studies to refute or prove the claim, Geritol's effect on fertility remains just an Internet wives' tale.

Geritol and Pregnancy

Geritol's effect on fertility is still in contention, with no scientific evidence to prove its influence on conception, but it may be useful after a woman conceives. Pregnant women are subject to nutritional deficiencies and may need supplements to increase their health and the health of their child. Most doctors agree that a good prenatal tablet with sufficient iron along with a proper diet and exercise are all that is needed during pregnancy.

Geritol is simply a multivitamin containing iron and it satisfies a pregnant woman's need for a supplement. But most prenatal tablets, either those by prescription or over-the-counter, will contain, on average, 10 to 12 mg more iron than Geritol. Like most supplements or medications, it is up to each pregnant woman and her doctor to come up with the best supplement regimen that fits her needs. Many supplements can have various side effects and some pregnant women may tolerate Geritol better than a prenatal tablet.

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About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.