Does Ozempic affect fertility and pregnancy?

Does Ozempic Affect Fertility?

3 min read

Ozempic, the diabetes treatment, (now popularized because of its effect on weight loss), has seen a surge of media attention. As more and more consider the medication, especially if they’re hoping to drop weight, it makes sense to wonder whether Ozempic affects fertility. Read on to learn more about what Ozempic is, how it works, and its effect on fertility and weight loss.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a brand name for Semaglutide, a medication used to treat high blood sugar. (Recently, the brand name has become synonymous with the product—like Kleenex or Tupperware.) Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, a class of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. Under the brand name Wegovy, it’s also approved for weight loss (independent of medical conditions like diabetes) for those with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2.

How does Ozempic work?

Ozempic slows stomach emptying and suppresses appetite. Historically, a concern with many medications to treat diabetes was that they led to weight gain as a side effect. Ozempic can lower blood glucose, without the added pounds. In fact, weight loss has been a big factor in the medication’s current popularity. The treatment is a self-administered injection done once a week.

How does Ozempic affect weight loss?

Weight loss is notoriously challenging partially because the body tends to resist any efforts to do so, often by increasing signals from the brain to increase appetite. Ozempic quiets those signals, which can help you lose weight and not regain it. The catch is that you won’t necessarily keep the weight off when you stop the medication, making it a long-term commitment.

What are Ozempic side effects?

The main side effects are gastro-related (Ozempic slows down gastric motility). Think nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

How can I get Ozempic?

Ozempic is approved for those with type 2 diabetes or a BMI over 30, though you’ll need a doctor’s prescription to get it. (This is for good reason—there are contraindications including a family history of thyroid cancer, personal history of pancreatitis, and pregnancy or breastfeeding—more about that in a sec.)

Even with a script, you’ll likely only get insurance coverage if you have type 2 diabetes. If you don’t have insurance coverage, the medication is expensive and prone to shortages and manufacturer delays. 

Can Ozempic affect fertility?

If you have PCOS or irregular ovulation and have an elevated BMI, weight loss can help regulate ovulation and that would increase your chances of spontaneous conception. But, there aren’t any studies (yet) that have shown Ozempic (or any other weight-loss-related medication) has a positive effect when it comes to fertility treatment. Until we learn more, check all your medications with your doctor and fertility specialist to ensure they make sense for your fertility journey.

What Does Inositol Do for PCOS? 

Is Ozempic safe for pregnancy?

Ozempic (and other brands of GLP1 receptor agonists) are not approved for use during pregnancy. The current recommendation is to stop this medication two months before conception because of animal studies that showed an increase in miscarriage and birth defects. If you do become pregnant while taking the medication, make sure to stop taking it and connect with your doctor. Postpartum, there’s no clear safety data about Ozempic use when breastfeeding, so it’s best to avoid the medication until you stop nursing.