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Spina bifida

Spina bifida is one of the more common birth defects. It occurs when the tissue surrounding the developing spinal cord of a foetus doesn't close properly. Genetic and environmental factors can increase the chance of spina bifida, although usually the specific cause is not known. About 5000 Australians are living with spina bifida.

If you are a woman trying to conceive, you can reduce your chance of having a child with spina bifida by ensuring you are getting enough folate. You may need folate supplements from one month before conception to 3 months after to reduce your risk.

There is no cure for spina bifida. Treatment may involve surgery, but it depends on the severity of the condition.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about spina bifida.

Last reviewed: October 2016

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Spina bifida

Spina bifida is a condition that affects the normal development of a baby’s spine early in pregnancy.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Spina Bifida | myVMC

Spina Bifida is a birth defect which is usually obvious in affected newborns. It occurs due to abnormal development of the neural tube in pregnancy.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Continence in spina bifida: bladder and bowel - myDr.com.au

Issues surrounding bladder or bowel continence are a concern for many people with spina bifida.

Read more on myDr website

Spina Bifida - Antenatal Consultation in Spina Bifida | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Spina Bifida - Adolescents and adults with Spina Bifida | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Spina Bifida - Living well with Spina Bifida | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Spina Bifida - Tethered Cord and Spina Bifida. | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Spina Bifida - Be active kids with Spina Bifida | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Spina Bifida - Healthy Lifestyle for Spina Bifida | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Spina Bifida - Bladder Management and Spina Bifida | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

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