Can you take Wegovy if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant?
LAST UPDATED: Nov 01, 2023
2 MIN READ
HERE'S WHAT WE'LL COVER
The use of Wegovy for weight loss is becoming more common and people who are pregnant or trying to conceive may also be interested in using the medication. But is the drug intended for use during pregnancy or in people trying to conceive? We spoke with Dr. Yael Cooperman, M.D. about Wegovy and whether it can be used during pregnancy.
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Can you take Wegovy when you’re pregnant?
As a general rule, pregnant people should not use Wegovy. In fact, the manufacturer recommends stopping the medication at least two months before trying to conceive to ensure there is no Wegovy in your system when you conceive. That said, the full answer is a little bit more complicated. That’s because while Wegovy may pose some risk to a developing fetus, overweight and obesity can also increase the chance of pregnancy complications, so your healthcare provider will weigh the risks and benefits of each approach before deciding whether you can take Wegovy during pregnancy.
What are the risks of taking Wegovy during pregnancy?
Studies done in animals have shown that pregnant rats and monkeys treated with semaglutide––the active ingredient in Wegovy––experienced pregnancy complications and their fetuses had birth defects. While there isn’t yet enough research to understand whether the same effects are present in humans who use the drug during pregnancy, healthcare providers typically will avoid prescribing a drug with any risk to it if they can avoid it and offer a safer alternative.
What if I become pregnant while taking Wegovy?
If you are currently using Wegovy and find out that you’re pregnant, speak with your healthcare provider and explain that you are pregnant so that they can weigh the risks and benefits of continuing treatment with Wegovy or switching to a different medication or treatment course.
Since there have never been studies in humans regarding how Wegovy and its active ingredient, semaglutide, affect developing fetuses, scientists cannot confirm the risk to the developing fetus. However, the drug manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, does have a pregnancy registry so that healthcare providers and patients in the United States who find themselves pregnant while taking the medication can be monitored. The hope is that the data collected from these sporadic cases can help healthcare providers make the safest possible decisions for their patients in the future regarding the use of this medication during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, and you take Wegovy, or you’re considering starting it, speak with your healthcare provider and share your full medical history as well as your concerns so that they can make an informed, personalized recommendation about how to proceed.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Kim, J., Ayabe, A. (2023). Obesity in Pregnancy. Statpearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK572113/
Novo Nordisk. (n.d). Wegovy® PEN Instructions: Wegovy® (SEMAGLUTIDE) injection 2.4 mg. Wegovy® Pen Instructions | Wegovy® (semaglutide) Injection 2.4 mg. Retrieved from https://www.wegovy.com/taking-wegovy/how-to-use-the-wegovy-pen.html?showisi=true&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw7oeqBhBwEiwALyHLM6596n4-W6oeI6GIE7bUM9P61WUPbspZMwNpxpItjGofe0QUxK8ASxoCp38QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
Nuako, A., Tu, L., Reyes, K. J. C., et al. (2023). Pharmacologic Treatment of Obesity in Reproductive Aged Women. Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports, 12(2), 138–146. doi: 10.1007/s13669-023-00350-1. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10328448/#R13