Ozempic babies: Women claim weight loss drugs are making them more fertile – and experts agree

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A new kind of baby boom could be taking place.

Some women taking GLP-1 drugs, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, have reported that they’re getting pregnant unexpectedly.

The term “Ozempic babies” has been coined on TikTok, with many women posting there about their unplanned pregnancies.

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This includes Michigan mom Deb Oliviara (@dkalsolive), who posted a video on Feb. 16 announcing her “Ozempic pregnancy” with her boyfriend.

In a conversation with Fox News Digital, Oliviara said the pregnancy was “absolutely a surprise.”

Some women are reporting unexpected pregnancies while taking Ozempic. (iStock)

“We recently moved into our dream home and just got engaged,” she said. “We were just enjoying our new life when we were surprised by a baby [boy] arriving in October.”

Oliviara has two children from a prior marriage and has been pregnant six times, including her current pregnancy, but has experienced “unidentified fertility issues.” 

“I had a first trimester loss, second trimester loss and my stillbirth,” she said. “Thankfully, this baby is super healthy.”

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Each pregnancy changed her body, Oliviara said, which was a “reminder of the losses.”

“I spent two years in the gym about four to five days a week working out,” she said. “I worked with a health coach and a fitness coach and nothing was help[ing] me lose the last 20 pounds.” 

After her sister-in-law found weight-loss success via Wegovy, Oliviara began her own GLP-1 journey, which ended once she found out she was pregnant.

ozempic boxes

Boxes of Ozempic, an injectable antidiabetic drug, are pictured in a pharmacy. “It’s likely the main driver in the ‘Ozempic baby’ boom we’re suddenly seeing,” said one Massachusetts-based doctor.  (SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP)

Dr. Angela Fitch, chief medical officer of knownwell and president of the Obesity Medicine Association, confirmed that the correlation between weight loss and fertility is “well-known.”

“It’s likely the main driver in the ‘Ozempic baby’ boom we’re suddenly seeing,” Massachusetts-based Fitch wrote in an email to Fox News Digital.

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“As physicians, it’s our responsibility to emphasize the unknown and ensure that women take contraception use seriously — preferably using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods, such as an IUD,” the doctor suggested.

Although the fertility effects of these drugs have not been studied extensively, Fitch said they are known to “slow gastric emptying and affect the absorption of oral medications,” including contraceptives.

Pregnancy doula

The “main driver” of the Ozempic baby boom is the correlation between weight loss and fertility, one doctor suggested. (iStock)

Dr. Rachel McConnell, a fertility expert at Columbia University Fertility Center in New York, said she is hearing about Ozempic pregnancies “all the time.”

“I feel that patients who have obesity, or are overweight, will do much better by trying to lose weight,” she told Fox News Digital. “And there are plenty of studies to support that.”

“We encourage patients to be off the medication for at least two to three months before they even attempt conception.”

Losing weight also helps regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle, McConnell noted, which can help patients with obesity or conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) to get pregnant “much quicker.”

McConnell agreed with Fitch that GLP-1s could be decreasing the absorption of birth control medications.

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“Not only does Ozempic work by increasing insulin, causing a decrease in glucose levels, but it also causes a slowing of emptying of the stomach,” she said.

Experts warn of ‘unknown effects’

While the possibility of there being no negative effects could be “life-changing for pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes,” according to Fitch, the impact of GLP-1s on babies is unknown.

McConnell added, “Not knowing the safety of the drug, I think [patients] should be cautious and try not to get pregnant while taking it because we don’t know the long-term effects.”

Both doctors recommended the use of “backup barriers,” or extra contraceptives, while taking GLP-1 drugs.

woman taking birth control pill

Women on birth control could have a higher risk of pregnancy while taking GLP-1s like Ozempic, experts say. (iStock)

The general guidance is for pregnant women to not take Ozempic or other GLP-1s while pregnant, to prevent any potential drug toxicity to the fetus, according to McConnell.

“We encourage patients to be off the medication for at least two to three months before they even attempt conception, because it has a very long half-life of about five weeks,” she said.

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Mom Oliviara said she wished she could have weaned herself off Ozempic instead of stopping abruptly “for the health of the baby.”

She said, “I experienced insatiable hunger. I tried to combat it by eating healthy, staying active and trying to stick with my new healthy habits I formed [while] on the GLP-1.”

Ozempic

The impact GLP-1s could have on babies is unknown, but the possibility of there being no negative effects could be “life-changing for pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes,” a doctor said. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

The expectant mother said she gained back 20 pounds within the first three months of her pregnancy, which “significantly affected” her mental health.

“I felt super uncomfortable in my body again,” she said. “I now feel like the medication is out of my system and I’ve been able to have a normal pregnancy again.”

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She added, “We are just happy [the baby] is healthy after multiple losses.”

Oliviara said she plans to resume taking Ozempic after the baby is born.

Woman with pregnancy test

Patients should “try not to get pregnant” while taking these drugs since side effects are unknown, a doctor advised. (iStock)

“I think it is important for people to go into it knowing it is a tool and to use it as one,” she said. “It is up to you to make the lifestyle changes for long-term results.”

McConnell advised other GLP-1 patients to have a plan for how to maintain their healthy lifestyles, including eating well and getting exercise, once they’ve stopped taking these medications.

GLP-1s are meant for people who “actually need weight loss” and should not be taken for fertility purposes, one doctor reminded patients. 

The doctor also reminded patients that GLP-1s are meant for people who “actually need weight loss” and should not be taken for fertility purposes.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, has created a Wegovy Pregnancy Registry to collect health data from women who take the GLP-1 medications during pregnancy.

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk headquarters

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, has created a Wegovy Pregnancy Registry to collect health data from women who take the GLP-1 medications during pregnancy. (LISELOTTE SABROE/Scanpix Denmark/AFP)

“The goal of the Wegovy Pregnancy Registry is to help health care providers, patients and researchers better understand the safety of Wegovy … and other weight-loss medications during pregnancy,” the registry states.

“The study collects health information on pregnant women and their babies up to 1 year of age from enrolled pregnant women themselves and the health care providers involved in their care or the care of their babies.”

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The Wegovy website states that the medication “may cause fetal harm” and advises women to discontinue use if they become pregnant.

Fox News Digital reached out to Novo Nordisk for additional comment.

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