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Can You Take Ozempic While Pregnant?

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When you’re trying to get pregnant, doctors often recommend trying to reach a healthy weight before conception in order to reduce the risk of complications. For some, taking a weight-loss drug like Ozempic or Wegovy, AKA a semaglutide, is the silver bullet to actually accomplishing that goal. But is that kind of medication safe to continue taking once you do conceive? Reddit threads are filled with stories ranging from miscarriages to birth defects to zero complications at all. 

“There’s not enough information out there as to what the risks are,” says endocrinologist Dr. Judith Korner, director of the Metabolic and Weight Control Center at Columbia University and chair of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. That’s because researchers can’t ethically conduct a study on pregnant women that could put their babies at risk. But, according to the FDA, preliminary animal studies have linked high doses of semaglutide to miscarriages and babies with birth defects or low birth weights. 


It’s unclear whether or not the same things could happen in humans. Even so, there’s also a worry that taking these powerful drugs during pregnancy could lead to an unhealthy amount of weight loss at a time when the body needs to gain weight to support a growing fetus. 

Given these concerns, experts recommend a conservative approach to protect the health of your baby. The current guidelines are to stop taking any semaglutide for at least two months prior to conception. “The drug should definitely be out of your system by then,” Dr. Korner says. If you’re at high risk for weight regain within that two-month time period, she says there are alternatives like liraglutide, which is a shorter-acting medication that will leave your system faster so you can take it until closer to the time of conception (although you’ll still need to come off of those drugs too once you get pregnant).  

If you choose to breastfeed after giving birth, doctors recommend continuing to stay off any semaglutide until after you’ve weaned your baby, since, as of now, the risks are simply unknown. 

These guidelines for pregnancy and breastfeeding stand no matter whether you’re using the drug for weight loss or diabetes management. “Given that we have alternative therapies [for diabetes], we have insulin, you can’t really justify a risk like that,” says Dr. Korner. 


Of course, there’s always the possibility of getting pregnant without meaning to — and sometimes without realizing it for several weeks. If you were taking Ozempic or Wegovy when you conceived, be sure to inform your OB so they can keep a close eye on fetal growth. 

“My heart does go out to women who, in order to have a healthier pregnancy, may take semaglutide in order to lose weight,” says Dr. Korner. “And then they’re told, ‘Well, you know you have to stop the medication.’” 

Although she suggests nutrition and lifestyle counseling to help maintain the weight loss you achieved while on the drug, she acknowledges that’s hard to do that since your former appetite will return not long after you stop the medication. And once you do get pregnant, your hunger and cravings will likely be all over the place. But the safest thing you can do for your baby is to take a break from any semaglutide until they’re no longer depending on your body to fill their belly.

Before you go, shop our favorite products for when you’re pregnant and on bed rest:

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