Ozempic baby boom: Doctors are prescribing weight-loss drugs off-label for fertility – with women in their 40s falling pregnant naturally

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • Those who had trouble conceiving have lost weight, improving pregnancy odds
  • Any amount of weight loss improves hormone balance including estrogen levels
  • READ MORE: Forget weight loss, could Ozempic give infertile women a family? 

An Ozempic boom could be on the horizon amid reports that doctors have started prescribing weight-loss drugs to women struggling to get pregnant.

Ozempic and its sister drug Wegovy have not been approved to treat infertility, but a growing number of women are taking to social media to discuss their surprise pregnancies on the drug.

Doctors do not have conclusive evidence yet that it is a viable treatment for infertility and they are doing so without proof that the blockbuster obesity medicines won’t harm the fetus, experts warn.

But anecdotal evidence suggests women who are in their 40s, poised for menopause or on birth control are falling pregnant shortly after starting the drugs.

The drugs are believed to correct hormone imbalances, and on top of that, losing weight has been associated with a greater chance of conceiving.

Ozempic and Wegovy, both brand names for the drug semaglutide, have been hailed by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk , and are proven to help people lose up to 15 percent of their body weight

Specialists suggest slimming down may boost fertility, which is why semaglutide is being linked to pregnancies. Marcela Romero of Florida told Good Morning America that she got pregnant two weeks after starting Mounjaro.

Specialists suggest slimming down may boost fertility, which is why semaglutide is being linked to pregnancies. Marcela Romero of Florida told Good Morning America that she got pregnant two weeks after starting Mounjaro.

Melanie Cree, director of the PCOS clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, told Bloomberg: ‘The ‘oops’ babies on Ozempic and Wegovy are happening all over the place.

‘It’s very exciting, but it’s a bit scary because we’re moving forward without all the data.’

In addition to causing weight loss and shedding fat, which affects estrogen levels, the type of medicine is believed to affect how well the body absorbs oral contraceptives.

Dr William Dietz, physician and chair of the STOP Obesity Alliance at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, said: ‘This may mean that birth control medications are metabolized or ineffective.

‘I don’t think we know the impact of these drugs on fetal development.’

Forty-year-old Torria Leggett told Bloomberg that she thought she would not be able to become pregnant. 

The North Carolina social worker began taking Novo’s Ozempic to treat obesity, then switched to Lilly’s Mounjaro, which is approved for diabetes but prescribed often for obesity.

As she lost weight, she learned she was pregnant.

She said: The weight loss, that’s likely what jump-started it. I couldn’t believe it.’

Ms Romero had been struggling with infertility for three years before getting pregnant shortly after going on the medicines

Ms Romero had been struggling with infertility for three years before getting pregnant shortly after going on the medicines

Ms Romero, a food and travel influencer, told The New York Times that she feared Mounjaro could have caused side effects. 'My first thought was, well this is great and everything, but do we know, are there any complications with pregnancy? Are there any defects kids are born with?' she said

Ms Romero, a food and travel influencer, told The New York Times that she feared Mounjaro could have caused side effects. ‘My first thought was, well this is great and everything, but do we know, are there any complications with pregnancy? Are there any defects kids are born with?’ she said

And Marcela Romero started taking Mounjaro – made by Eli Lilly – to lose weight and keep her blood sugar down before starting her IVF journey, as she wanted to give herself the best possible chance at life.

She had been trying to conceive for three years before considering IVF. 

Just two weeks after starting the medication, she discovered she was pregnant. She is now a mother to a seven-month-old baby girl.

‘She’s very happy, very smiley all the time,’ Ms Romero told Good Morning America.

Meanwhile, Amanda Brierley, 42, told USA Today she began using semaglutide – the main ingredient in Ozempic – last year to manage her insulin resistance linked to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Researchers keep uncovering different uses for the drugs. Even though they have not proven conclusively to help with PCOS, driven higher levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body, which can lead to the growth of excess hair, weight gain, acne, mood changes, ovarian cysts, insulin resistance, and irregular menstrual cycles.

Within a month, her menstrual cycle resumed with remarkable regularity after years of irregularities. Then, nine months later, Brierley discovered she was pregnant—a surprise given that doctors had told her she wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally after her previous high-risk pregnancy over 20 years earlier.

The tag Ozempic baby has been viewed on TikTok more than 250,000 times, with women living with infertility and PCOS – a condition in which cysts form on the ovaries and lead to an imbalance of hormones – discussing their miracle babies.

These kinds of reports are motivating healthcare providers to consider GLP-1 medications as a treatment option for polycystic ovary syndrome, a major contributor to infertility among women in the United States.

On user said: ‘I lost over 100lbs with diet and exercise and got unintentionally pregnant with twins. This all makes sense!’

Another said: ‘Currently 14 weeks pregnant after being on Ozempic for 3 months! Took us 2 years to conceive our toddler with a fertility clinic & letrozole.’

Dr Matthew Macer, a fertility specialist in Los Angeles, said: ‘The truth is that any weight loss when you’re obese or overweight. If you can lose five percent of your body weight, there are many studies showing a huge benefit to fertility. A lot of times, just making ovulation become regular again.’

Drug makers recommend women stop taking weight loss drugs at least two months before a planned pregnancy. Doctors typically help women taper down their doses to avoid weight regain, a commonly seen problem among people who stop taking the drugs.

Animal studies into the effects that the drugs might have on pregnancy have given doctors pause, though.

In studies, pregnant rats given Ozempic experienced fetal developmental issues, such as growth problems and embryonic mortality. Similarly, rabbits and cynomolgus monkeys also showed early pregnancy losses or structural abnormalities, along with significant maternal weight loss.

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