While anyone can have anemia, women are at higher risk for the disease. Anemia occurs when your body has a low count of red blood cells. The most common cause for anemia is a lack of iron, and women lose iron when they menstruate. Women can also develop anemia during pregnancy because the fluid portion of the blood increases faster than the number of red blood cells.
“Women who have iron-deficiency anemia can usually correct the problem by consuming more iron in their diet or taking an iron supplement,” says Jessica H. Lemmons, MD, FACOG, obstetrician and gynecologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.
To increase your iron levels through diet, eat more foods high in folic acid and vitamin C, such as spinach, citrus and eggs.