The ‘Oopzempic’ baby boom: Rise in unplanned pregnancies in women taking slimming jabs sparks warnings from top fertility experts

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Could taking Ozempic help get you pregnant?  

The answer is yes according to scores of women, many of whom were previously battling fertility woes, who claim to have conceived unexpectedly while using the game-changing weight-loss jabs. 

Dubbed ‘Oopzempic babies’, the phenomenon has even led some US physicians to prescribe the jabs off-label to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), one of the leading causes of infertility in women.

Jab users have taken to online forums with hundreds of members sharing how they got pregnant thanks to the injections.

Experts, however, have warned that conceiving while using the drugs may even ‘be harmful’ for the developing baby. 

Deb Oliviara, from Michigan , began her course of Ozempic last November to shift extra weight that had been making her feel down. The 32-year-old was taking a birth control pill, though not consistently, but was not worried because had a history of fertility issues. Two months later — the same week she reached her goal weight — Ms Oliviara found out she was three weeks pregnant 

Specialists suggest slimming down may boost fertility, which is why semaglutiude is being linked to pregnancies. Marcela Romero of Florida told Good Morning America that she got pregnant two weeks after starting Mounjaro, despite struggling with infertility for three years

Specialists suggest slimming down may boost fertility, which is why semaglutiude is being linked to pregnancies. Marcela Romero of Florida told Good Morning America that she got pregnant two weeks after starting Mounjaro, despite struggling with infertility for three years

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 2st. 

Specialists suggest slimming down may boost fertility, which is why semaglutiude is being linked to pregnancies.

Professor Adam Balen, a reproductive medicine consultant at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and former chair of the British Fertility Society, told MailOnline: ‘Many women who are overweight have reduced fertility.

‘Losing weight improves fertility and the likelihood of ovulation.’  

Fat cells produce oestrogen which can have a negative impact on fertility — halting regular menstruation and ovulation. As such, by losing just a few pounds, levels of the hormone could be lowered. 

The risk of infertility has been shown to be three-fold higher in obese women than in non-obese ones, research shows.

The effect may be particularly marked for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. 

The condition causes cysts to develop on the ovaries, leading to wide ranging hormonal symptoms and weight gain. 

Women with PCOS often struggle to conceive naturally. 

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 2st

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 2st 

A second 2022 study by researchers at the University of Liverpool also found patients who used the drug dropped 18 percent of their body weight after using it for 68 weeks. But, after dropping the weekly injections, users would put back on two-thirds of the weight within the next year

A second 2022 study by researchers at the University of Liverpool also found patients who used the drug dropped 18 percent of their body weight after using it for 68 weeks. But, after dropping the weekly injections, users would put back on two-thirds of the weight within the next year 

Professor Barbara McGowan, an expert in endocrinology and diabetes at King’s College London, added: ‘Weight loss by any means can improve fertility and regulate periods in ladies with PCOS. 

‘Weight loss improves insulin resistance associated with PCOS, and in doing so regulates the menstrual cycle and hence fertility.’

Semaglutide may also cause unplanned pregnancies in another way, by interfering with oral contraceptives. 

The drug also works by delaying the stomach from emptying, which could prevent the Pill from being absorbed effectively by the body.

The jabs, which operate by mimicking GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone that tells the brain it is full, can also leave users suffering vomiting and diarrhoea, which also risks causing oral contraceptives to fail.

Despite being hailed as one of the most powerful pharmaceutical tools to date, experts have warned it is not a 'magic pill' or miracle fix all. Trials have shown that users can rapidly pile pounds back on once they stop taking the drug and it can trigger a variety of nasty side effects. Users commonly complain of nausea, constipation and diarrhoea

Despite being hailed as one of the most powerful pharmaceutical tools to date, experts have warned it is not a ‘magic pill’ or miracle fix all. Trials have shown that users can rapidly pile pounds back on once they stop taking the drug and it can trigger a variety of nasty side effects. Users commonly complain of nausea, constipation and diarrhoea

Deb Oliviara, from Michigan, began her course of Ozempic last November to shift extra weight that had been making her feel down.

The 32-year-old was taking the Pill, though not consistently, but was not worried because had a history of fertility issues.

Two months later — the same week she reached her goal weight — she found out she was three weeks pregnant.

‘We were open to the idea, but definitely not trying,’ she told USA Today. ‘It was very much a surprise.’

Last month, a woman from Florida also revealed she became pregnant just two weeks after she started taking Mounjaro — which uses the active ingredient tirzepatide, and works in a similar way to semaglutide. 

Marcela Romero had struggled to conceive for three years. But before starting IVF she began using the jab, made by Eli Lilly, to lose weight and keep her blood sugar down.

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.

And the phenomenon has become so common that forum users are also sharing their experiences of unexpectedly becoming pregnant. A Facebook group titled ‘I got pregnant on Ozempic’ also has over 600 members. 

In one Reddit group with over 14million members, one said: ‘Can confirm! I started Ozempic in Sept 2023 in an effort to get my insulin resistance sorted out after 2 years of infertility and recurrent early pregnancy loss, hoping it help. 

‘I am now 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant.’

In a separate thread titled ‘Please share success stories having an ozempic baby?’, a user wrote: ‘I got pregnant four weeks into taking Ozempic, found out at six weeks, stopped Ozempic immediately. 

‘Now I have my beautiful 4 month old baby!!!’.

In a separate Ozempic thread with 74,000 members, another said: ‘I just found out that I’m expecting and I’m 23 weeks. I’ve taken Ozempic the entire time. 

‘I had no symptoms besides nausea back in May which I thought was from Ozempic. 

‘I’ve have had a lot of life stressors (husbands prostate cancer), infertility for YEARS, irregular periods combined with rapid weight loss.’ 

Melanie Cree, director of the polycystic ovary syndrome clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado in the US, also said: ‘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.’

Experts, however, urged caution to women who may get pregnant while on GLP-1 drugs like semaglutide.    

Professor Balen told MailOnline: ‘Conceiving when not nutritionally stable may be harmful for the developing baby.’

He suggests women losing large amounts of weight should consider taking nutritional supplements, particularly if planning a family, including high dose folate which protects against birth defects such as spina bifida.  

‘Pregnancies should be planned in a healthy way,’ he added.

Pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk, semaglutide manufacturer, advises women to stop taking the weight loss drugs at least two months before a planned pregnancy.

Research on rats, rabbits and monkeys has shown the weight loss medications could result in miscarriage and birth defects if taken while pregnant. 

However, a Swedish study published in December, found there was no increase in birth defects among women with type 2 diabetes who used the drugs in very early pregnancy compared with those who took insulin.

The researchers, who assessed the health records of 50,000 women, said additional confirmation is needed. 

Studies have also suggested weight loss boosts sexual function and activity. 

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, obesity is the cause of fertility struggles in six per cent of women who have never been pregnant before. 

Wegovy and Ozempic, which both contain semaglutide, work by triggering the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that is released naturally from the intestines after meals

Wegovy and Ozempic, which both contain semaglutide, work by triggering the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that is released naturally from the intestines after meals

The NHS estimates there is a one in five risk of miscarriage under 12 weeks among women in general. 

But in women with a BMI of over 30, this rises to one in four.

Semaglutide has been shown to help users lose up to 33lbs (15.3kg) on average over 68 weeks. 

Ministers plan to dole the drug to millions of overweight Brits to trim the country’s bulging benefits bill. Children could eventually be given the jabs, too.

Latest NHS data shows 26 per cent of adults in England are obese and a further 38 per cent are overweight but not obese.

Experts have pointed to a lack of exercise, and poor diets high in ultra-processed food, as being key drivers in the UK’s obesity epidemic.

Ozempic is currently only available on the NHS as a treatment for managing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

It’s dramatic slimming effects saw doctors and pharmacists dish it out ‘off-label’ for people wanting to lose weight. However, officials urged against doing so because of supply issues, warning it put diabetics lives at risk.

Wegovy was approved last year, specifically for weight loss. 

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