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Doctors warn that diabetes medications used to lose weight may affect the effectiveness of contraceptives

Doctors warn that diabetes medications used to lose weight may affect the effectiveness of contraceptives

A troubling phenomenon is emerging in the United States: Women who take weight-loss diabetes medications, such as Ozempic and Mounjaro, are unintentionally becoming pregnant, even while taking birth control.

A Facebook group titled “I Got Pregnant with Ozempic” has more than 450 members. On social networks such as Reddit and TikTok, many are sharing similar experiences related to the active ingredient of these drugs, semaglutide.

Doctors consulted by USA Today identify two possible reasons for this phenomenon. First, the weight loss promoted by these drugs can correct hormonal imbalances caused by obesity and metabolic disorders, increasing fertility. Second, weight-loss medications may reduce the effectiveness of contraception, increasing the risk of pregnancy.

One comment on the TikTok video reads: “I got pregnant with Ozempic even though I was on the pill! My baby is due in June.” Another person shared: “My surprise baby Ozempic is almost 4 months old and very healthy!” Reports are multiplying on various networks and social platforms

Deb Oliveira, 32, started taking Ozempic to lose weight and improve her mood. Despite taking birth control pills irregularly, I was not concerned about my previous fertility problems. Two months after starting treatment with Ozempic and reaching her desired weight, she found out she was pregnant. “We were open to the idea, but we definitely didn't try it,” he admitted to USA Today.

Reproductive medicine and obesity experts warn against this trend, but stress that women should not use weight-loss medications as a way to try to get pregnant. Animal studies suggest that these medications can lead to miscarriage and birth defects if taken during pregnancy. However, there are no studies in humans.

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Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, recommends that women stop taking these medications at least two months before planning to become pregnant.

“Although these medications can make pregnancy easier, people should be careful, as there may be serious consequences if taken during pregnancy,” Dr. Alison Rodgers, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology, told USA Today.

In turn, Dr. Utsavi Shah, a specialist in obesity medicine, explained that there is nothing specific in medications that makes a person more fertile, other than their interaction with contraceptives. He explained that the effect on weight loss is what helps regulate the menstrual cycle, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy.

Laboratory studies have revealed that the active ingredient in drugs such as Mounjaro and Zepbound, tirzepatide, reduces the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. These medications slow gastric emptying, affecting the absorption of oral medications.

However, Dr. Shah emphasizes: “If you use effective contraception and these weight loss medications, the risk of unintended pregnancy is very low.”