Ozempic babies: Does Ozempic affect pregnancy?

Ozempic babies: Does Ozempic affect pregnancy?

Ozempic babies: Does Ozempic affect pregnancy?

People taking popular GLP-1s for weight loss are reporting unintended pregnancies. Here’s what to know about the “Ozempic babies” phenomenon.

J. Smith
Last updated:
5 min read
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Earlier this year, when a TikTok user posted a video detailing how she unexpectedly got pregnant while taking Ozempic®, the comments section filled with hundreds of posts (nearly 600 as of April 2024) from others sharing similar experiences. 

The social media commenters shared their own surprise pregnancies while taking Ozempic, other FDA-approved GLP-1 medications, and Mounjaro®—even while using birth control. 

The media noted the trending conversation, and the talk of a possible “Ozempic babies” boom has become a hot topic, with coverage on the Today Show, USA Today, and elsewhere.

Does Ozempic affect pregnancy? To be clear, Ozempic is not a fertility drug, and neither are any other GLP-1 medications. Let's explore how these diabetes and weight-loss drugs may impact fertility, including the potential risks and benefits. 

Does Ozempic affect fertility? 

Insulin resistance, prediabetes, obesity, PCOS, and type 2 diabetes may impact fertility,” says the Chief Medical Officer at Found Health, Rekha Kumar, MD, MS. “GLP-1 medications treat all of these conditions.” So, taking drugs like Ozempic can lead not only to weight loss, but they may also help with fertility issues, which can improve the odds of getting pregnant. 

For some people with irregular menstrual cycles due to excess weight, losing weight can lead to more regular menstrual and ovulation cycles. This, in turn, may lead to improved fertility and pregnancy. 

“The underlying science is that, in the hormonal milieu of abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, the ovaries do not function normally,” explains Dr. Kumar. “When the hormonal environment is corrected with GLP-1 medications, the ovaries may start to work in a healthy way. And many women get regular periods and regular ovulation on these medicines.”

Does Ozempic affect male fertility?

The current buzz around “Ozempic babies” centers on pregnancy, but how do GLP-1s impact male reproductive health? “This is currently unknown,” says Dr. Kumar. “But these drugs may also be helpful for this population, considering obesity and diabetes negatively impact male fertility, too.” 

A recent study suggests that GLP-1s may also influence fertility in men, but more research is needed.

I’m planning to try to get pregnant. How should I proceed?

If you’re an Ozempic patient (or you take another GLP-1 or GLP-1/GIP drug) and you plan to get pregnant, discuss your options with your health care provider. They’ll likely recommend you stop taking it at least two months before you start trying, depending on which medication you’re on. This “washout period” is recommended for anyone planning to get pregnant, regardless of sex.

Wait to resume these drugs till after you’ve given birth, says Dr. Kumar. And if you’re breastfeeding or chestfeeding, wait until you’ve weaned your child to be safe. Although there’s no available data on the effects of GLP-1s on human milk production or breastfed infants, animal studies have found semaglutide in the milk of lactating rats.

Do GLP-1 meds cause harm during pregnancy? 

It is advised that people stop taking GLP-1 drugs two months prior to trying to become pregnant. Manufacturers of GLP-1 drugs caution that if you get pregnant while taking a GLP-1 medication, stop taking it right away and speak to your health care provider. “At this time, we have not seen harm to the baby,” says Dr. Kumar. “But GLP-1s are not tested in pregnancy.” 

Like most drugs, due to ethical and safety concerns, these medications have only been studied in pregnant lab animals, not pregnant humans. According to the packaging inserts for Ozempic and Wegovy®, these animal studies show birth defects and other risks to the fetus, including congenital abnormalities, reduced fetal growth, and early pregnancy loss. 

Although rare, in animal studies, semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy) caused thyroid C-cell tumors. Ozempic’s “black box” warns of the risk of these tumors. If you have trouble swallowing, develop hoarseness, or feel swelling or a lump in your neck, contact your health care provider immediately. 

The FDA also warns not to take Ozempic if you have or have a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, medullary thyroid cancer, insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetic ketoacidosis. So, if that’s you, Ozempic isn’t the right fit. Find detailed side effect and risk information for these drugs on Found’s dedicated medication page. 

So, to be safe, avoid taking Ozempic or any GLP-1 medication in the two months before trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy. If you realize you’re pregnant while on this type of medication, stop right away and talk to your health care provider.  

How can I avoid an unintended Ozempic baby?

If you’re taking a GLP-1 medication and you’re in a sexual relationship that could result in pregnancy, you’ll need to take extra precautions. 

GLP-1 medications can affect how well birth control pills work in two ways: side effects and slowed digestion (known as “delayed gastric emptying”). Since GLP-1 medications can cause food to move through your stomach more slowly, this can impact how well your body absorbs birth control pills. Side effects commonly associated with GLP-1 meds, like vomiting or diarrhea, can also make birth control pills less effective. 

So, if you take an oral contraceptive (such as a birth control pill), use an additional type of birth control for added protection. This may include a barrier method (like condoms, diaphragm, sponge, and/or spermicide) or an intrauterine device (IUD).

Next steps

If you’re wondering how to navigate your reproductive health or pregnancy planning while taking a GLP-1 as a weight loss medication, consult a health care provider. Work with an obesity medicine specialist, endocrinologist, or ob-gyn (or some combination thereof) to understand what’s right for your circumstances. Found’s clinical team of providers trained in obesity medicine can design a treatment plan personalized to your unique biology and needs to help you lose weight safely and sustainably. Prescriptions are up to a medical provider’s discretion.


Found is among the largest medically-supported telehealth weight care clinics in the country, serving nearly 250,000 members to date. To discover your MetabolicPrint and start your journey with Found, take our quiz.

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Published date:
June 24, 2024
Ready to lose weight and live your healthiest life?
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Meet the author
J. Smith
Freelance health writer
Based in New York City, health journalist J. Smith covers diverse health topics and conditions, including women’s health, hereditary conditions, weight care, and more.

Sources

1.  Oliviara, D. (@Dkalsolive). #pregnancytiktok #pregnanttiktok #mom #momlifebelike #womenstrong #datinginyour30s #babytok #glp1 [Video]. TikTok, February 17, 2024. https://www.tiktok.com/@dkalsolive/video/7336150778932972842

2. Pawlowski, A. “Weight-Loss Drugs Are Leading to ‘Ozempic Babies’: Doctors Explain Surprise Pregnancies.” TODAY.com, March 27, 2024. https://www.today.com/health/womens-health/ozempic-pregnancy-fertility-rcna81104

3. Klein, Amy. “An Ozempic Baby Boom? Some GLP-1 Users Report Unexpected Pregnancies.” MSN, April 5, 2024. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/other/an-ozempic-baby-boom-some-glp-1-users-report-unexpected-pregnancies/ar-BB1l8vZ2 

4. Camero, Katie. “‘Ozempic Babies’ Are Surprising Women Taking Weight Loss Drugs. Doctors Think They Know Why.” Yahoo! News, March 21, 2024. https://news.yahoo.com/news/ozempic-babies-surprising-women-taking-154901378.html 

5. Varnum AA, Pozzi E, Deebel NA, Evans A, Eid N, Sadeghi-Nejad H, Ramasamy R. Impact of GLP-1 Agonists on Male Reproductive Health-A Narrative Review. Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 Dec 27;60(1):50. doi: 10.3390/medicina60010050. PMID: 38256311; PMCID: PMC10820247.

6. Ozempic packaging insert. Accessed April 7, 2024. https://www.novo-pi.com/ozempic.pdf 

7. Wegovy packaging insert. Accessed April 7, 2024. https://www.novo-pi.com/wegovy.pdf 

8. “Contraception.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 1, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/index.htm

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