Spina bifida is an incomplete closing of backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. There are three main types: spina bifida occulta, meningocele, and myelomeningocele, raning from mild to severe form. Spina bifida usually occurs at the lower back, but sometimes it may be at the middle back or neck. Spina bifida also associates with problems including poor ability to walk, problems with bladder or bowel control, nerve damage and even learning problems.
Since spina bifida is a birth defect, its cause is believed to be related with parents, but doctors never had a finalized answer to this problem. Spina bifida is said to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Not having enough folate in the diet before and during pregnancy plays a significant role in resulting spina bifida. Other possible factors include certain antiseizure medications, obesity, and poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy.