In the past few months, a few social media users have taken to social media to share some unexpected news: That they got pregnant while taking a GLP-1 agonist. Which, for the record, refers to drugs like Ozempic, which control blood sugar in patients with conditions like diabetes, but have become synonymous with the phrase “weight loss solution”)

For example: One TikTok user shared that she got pregnant while on Ozempic — and several commenters weighed in to say that they too became pregnant unexpectedly while on Ozempic or another drug in this class (such as Wegovy or Mounjaro). 

“My little mounjaro baby is almost 6 months old after trying for over 10 years with PCOS!,” one user commented. Another added: “soooo, i was told i was infertile after my 2nd c section, and took ozempic 4 months and boom pregnant”.

This particular TikToker and commenters aren’t the only ones who have experienced an unexpected pregnancy while on Ozempic: There are multiple pieces of digital content featuring others speaking about conceiving while on the drug — and  in many cases, the person who got pregnant with an “Ozempic baby” had been trying to conceive for a long time with no luck before getting on the drug and getting pregnant unexpectedly.

Ozempic and pregnancy: Let’s talk safety

It’s important to remember that Ozempic and similar drugs are not safe for use while pregnant — as we’ve previously reported, it’s not even safe to be on these drugs while trying to conceive. People should wait at least two months after their last dose before trying to get pregnant. The drug’s safety during pregnancy simply has not been studied for long enough in humans.

With that in mind, it’s a little alarming to think that someone could see all this social media discourse about Ozempic babies and get on the medication in hope of getting pregnant while on the drug. Because while many families have experienced the joy of a pregnancy struggling with infertility, getting pregnant while on Ozempic does go against the recommendations. 

Can Ozempic and similar drugs actually boost fertility?

Take what some people are saying on social media with a grain of salt: There’s no evidence that these drugs can directly boost fertility. However, for some people, losing weight may help increase their chances of getting pregnant.

“While there is nothing about the medications themselves that will boost fertility, there is likely some truth to improved fertility after weight loss achieved with these drugs, at least for people who have metabolic (such as insulin resistance) or weight-related causes of infertility,” says Jessica Ryniec, MD, a board certified OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist with CCRM Fertility.

How can weight loss help someone’s odds of getting pregnant?

“The most obvious way may be related to ovulation, which can be irregular due to hormonal irregularities that can come with increased weight, metabolic abnormalities like insulin resistance, and disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome,” says Dr. Ryenic.

The weight loss doesn’t have to be drastic in order for it to be an effective way to restore ovulation, according to Dr. Ryniec, who says even a 5 percent weight loss can make a difference.

Is there any truth to the idea that Ozempic can make birth control less effective? 

According to some social media content regarding “Ozempic babies”, the drug makes birth control pills less effective, which may explain why so many people are getting pregnant unexpectedly. But is this a fact or another example of a social media myth?

“There is currently no evidence or published research proving that GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic make birth control less effective,” says Dr. Ryenic. “However the concern is that the delayed gastric emptying that comes as a side effect of these medications may lead to the hormones of the birth control pill not being properly absorbed, thereby leading to contraceptive failure.”

This effect would not hold up with all forms of birth control, though. “Other forms of contraceptives (the patch, ring, implants, injections, or IUDs) would not be expected to be impacted by delayed absorption,” she adds. 

Can Ozempic boost fertility in some other way?

It doesn’t appear that way, according to Dr. Ryenic. “I believe this is mainly related to correction of metabolic abnormalities such as insulin Resistance and for others related to weight loss itself,” she says.

However, more research is needed to fully understand this. 

“It would be beneficial to continue to study the reproductive effects of these medications so that people can be counseled appropriately and also so it may be able to be used effectively as an adjunct in fertility care in the future,” says Dr. Ryenic.

Is getting on Ozempic or a similar drug before trying to conceive a good idea?

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It could be — however, people ought to remember to come off the medication at least two months before trying to conceive.

“I think this could be an excellent option for people who have the time to improve their metabolic health prior to pregnancy,” says Dr. Ryniec. “However may not be the right option for people who cannot afford to wait the time it takes for the medication to produce the desired outcomes or be eliminated prior to pregnancy.”

Some people, for example, use Ozempic to manage PCOS, a condition that can contribute to fertility challenges. Is this a good idea?

“Yes, I think this is safe but it is important for people to be counseled appropriately that they should be using effective, ideally non-oral contraceptive options to avoid pregnancy until at least two months after stopping the medication until more research is done, and that this is important advice even for those who have struggled with infertility in the past,” says Dr. Ryniec.

Of course, unplanned pregnancies happen. What should someone know if they unexpectedly get pregnant while on one of these drugs?

“They should definitely reach out to both the doctor that prescribes [the drug] and their OBGYN upon finding out they are pregnant for next steps,” says Dr. Ryniec. “[They should] expect that they will need to stop the medication and perhaps need additional monitoring during pregnancy if the pregnancy is desired.”

The bottom line?

The term “Ozempic babies” may be getting a lot of traction on social media, but getting on the drug in hopes of getting pregnant while on it is not a good idea. Your best bet is to speak with your doctor about whether or not one of these drugs could be a helpful way for you to address health concerns before you try to conceive. 

Zara Hanawalt is a freelance journalist and mom of twins. She's written for outlets like Parents, MarieClaire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Motherly, and many others. In her (admittedly limited!) free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, trying new restaurants, and traveling with her family.