Taking Geritol While Pregnant: What to Know

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Head and Shoulders Photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Published August 10, 2022.

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There are numerous supplements, vitamins for fertility, and curative health treatments available for women trying to conceive that claim to help them fall pregnant. Today, we look at a popular brand, Geritol, and examine its efficacy.

What Is Geritol?

Geritol is a multivitamin brand, which produces different formulas to apparently boost energy, assist fertility, provide micronutrients, and improve health conditions. It's been on the market for many years and, for a time, was believed to be effective in boosting the chances of pregnancy, mainly due to its high content of iron.

Side Effects of Geritol

Common Side Effects

  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite, indigestion, or nausea
  • Staining of teeth
  • Constipation or diarrhea

More Serious Side Effects

Multivitamins should not cause any serious side effects, so if they do, there's something wrong. If you have any of the following symptoms, see a doctor immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Hives or rash
  • Blood in your stools
  • Pain in your chest or throat when swallowing a tablet

Taking Geritol During Pregnancy

Pregnant women have different vitamin and mineral needs when compared to other people, so they need to be careful when deciding which vitamins to take. It's always a good rule of thumb for pregnant women to run any new tablets or medication by their doctors before beginning treatment.

Geritol is not clinically tested or proven as a functioning prenatal supplement. Good prenatal vitamins have higher doses of folic acid than Geritol does. Take one that your doctor suggests.

Risks Associated With Taking Geritol While Pregnant

There is little information available to answer this question. Some women may experience any of the side effects listed above, or interactions with other supplements or medications.

Does Geritol Boost Fertility?

There is no evidence that Geritol assists conception. There are notes from the manufacturer on their website that confirm this, letting users know that claims of this are false.

Who Should Avoid Geritol?

If you have any of the following conditions or symptoms already, you should avoid taking Geritol or discuss it first with your general practitioner.



  • sickle cell anemia
  • anemia from pyruvate kinase and G6PD deficiencies
  • a type of blood disorder where the red blood cells burst called hemolytic anemia
  • decreased blood clotting from low vitamin K
  • increased risk of bleeding due to clotting disorder


  • iron metabolism disorder causing increased iron storage
  • an overload of iron in the blood
  • excess iron due to repeated blood transfusions

Imbalance of Vitamins and Minerals

  • a high amount of phosphate in the blood
  • a high level of calcium in the blood
  • high or low levels of potassium in the blood
  • a high amount of chloride in the blood
  • an excessive amount of vitamin D in the body


  • decreased kidney function
  • kidney stones

Stomach and Intestines

  • an ulcer from too much stomach acid
  • a type of stomach irritation called gastritis
  • inflammation of the stomach called atrophic gastritis
  • past history of complete removal of the stomach
  • ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory condition of the intestines
  • stomach or intestinal ulcer
  • stomach muscle paralysis and decreased function
  • blockage of the stomach or intestine
  • diverticular disease
  • diarrhea


  • inflammation of the epiglottis
  • compression of the esophagus
  • problems with food passing through the esophagus


  • a high amount of oxalic acid in urine
  • cessation of urine production


  • Thomsen disease
  • complete or severe heart block
  • Leber's hereditary optic atrophy
  • sarcoidosis
  • Addison's disease
  • excess body acid
  • dehydration
  • familial hyperkalemic periodic paralysis
  • severe burn

When a woman or couple are wanting to conceive and are struggling to do so, they may be tempted to try anything that claims to boost their chances of falling pregnant. However, sometimes it's not even the producer of a medication that claims this, but ordinary people through hearsay, "old wives' tales" or rumors. Geritol is an example of this situation and can potentially harm the user. Make sure to research medication thoroughly, read the packaging inserts, and get the go-ahead from your doctor before taking it.