Can You Take Semaglutide While Pregnant?

Seeking advice on semaglutide and pregnancy? Find out what the latest studies say about its use and potential risks to make an informed decision.

Enhance.MD Team
Medically reviewed by
Kate Cordisco, NP
Written by
Enhance.MD Team
Published on
February 9, 2024

Navigating pregnancy often means re-evaluating your medication regimen, and if you're considering semaglutide, you've got questions.

It's crucial to understand how this medication can affect you and your offspring during this delicate time.

The Safety of Taking Semaglutide During Pregnancy

When considering semaglutide during pregnancy, it's critical to weigh the potential benefits and risks. The FDA categorizes semaglutide as a Category C medication, which means animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. However, potential benefits may warrant its use in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Current evidence suggests that semaglutide should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Key considerations include:

  • Control of Blood Sugar: Maintaining blood sugar levels is crucial during pregnancy. Semaglutide may help manage type 2 diabetes when diet and exercise are not enough.
  • Medication Alternatives: There might be safer, better-studied alternatives to semaglutide for use during pregnancy. It's important to discuss these with your healthcare provider.
  • Long-Term Health: Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications for both mother and baby, making the consideration of medications like semaglutide complex.

Monitoring and Adjusting Treatment

For those who become pregnant while on semaglutide, an immediate consultation with a healthcare provider is imperative. Monitoring and treatment plans may need to be adjusted to:

  • Ensure the well-being of the developing fetus
  • Optimize maternal health outcomes
  • Reduce the risk of complications related to diabetes

Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Every pregnancy is unique, and what's right for one person may not be right for another. Regular appointments, thorough discussions, and constant monitoring with your healthcare provider are the best ways to navigate the use of semaglutide while ensuring the safety of you and your baby. Your healthcare team can provide personalized advice, drawing on the latest research and guidelines to make informed decisions about the management of diabetes during pregnancy.

Aside from personal health considerations, staying informed on the latest studies and FDA updates is essential for pregnant women considering semaglutide or any other medications affecting glucose metabolism. Staying abreast of new information ensures you're making the most informed choices for your health and your baby's development.

Possible Risks and Concerns

possible risks of semaglutide while pregnant

Semaglutide has shown promise in managing type 2 diabetes, yet its safety profile during pregnancy raises several concerns. When contemplating the use of semaglutide, it's important to recognize the potential risks linked to its administration during this delicate phase.

Animal studies have provided some insights into the effects of semaglutide on fetal development. Findings suggest there may be a risk of adverse effects, though translating these results to humans isn't straightforward. Your healthcare provider will often weigh these potential animal study risks against the benefits of maintaining controlled blood sugar levels.

One concern is that semaglutide could potentially interfere with normal fetal growth. Blood sugar regulation is vital during pregnancy, and any imbalance may impact fetal development. It's crucial to understand that without proper blood sugar management, there's an increased risk for birth defects and complications during delivery.

Another issue is the lack of extensive research regarding semaglutide's specific effects on pregnant women. With limited data, your healthcare provider must rely on existing knowledge and clinical judgment. For instance, medication-induced hypoglycemia, a significant drop in blood sugar levels, may have serious repercussions if not promptly addressed.

Ultimately, your decision to use semaglutide while pregnant should involve a thorough evaluation. Collaborate with your healthcare team to ensure your safety and that of your unborn child. Stay informed, keep track of your health metrics, and maintain an open dialogue with your medical professionals.

Current Research and Guidelines

As you consider the implications of taking semaglutide during pregnancy, it's vital to understand the landscape of current research and the guidelines set forth by experts. Clinical studies examining semaglutide during pregnancy are limited, largely due to ethical considerations when involving pregnant women in drug trials. This scarcity of data means that health professionals often rely on animal studies and anecdotal evidence when advising their patients.

However, when delving into existing animal studies, the outcomes suggest caution. Although these studies don't directly translate to human effects, they are an essential reference point. Animal studies have shown an increased risk of congenital malformations when using GLP-1 receptor agonists, the class of drugs to which semaglutide belongs. Despite this, the direct application of such results to humans is complex and requires professional discernment.

In terms of professional healthcare guidance, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers some direction. The ADA recommends individualized plans for managing diabetes during pregnancy, but stops short of endorsing specific medications like semaglutide due to the absence of concrete evidence supporting its safety for the fetus.

Regarding guidelines, the FDA's pregnancy Category C assignment is critical to consider. Medications in this category should only be used if the potential benefits justify the potential risks to the fetus. Healthcare providers generally follow these parameters:

  • Discuss potential risks and benefits with you in detail
  • Consider alternative treatments that have established safety profiles for pregnant women
  • Only prescribe Category C medications like semaglutide when the benefits outweigh the risks

If you're managing type 2 diabetes and considering pregnancy or are currently pregnant, your plan may involve more frequent blood glucose monitoring and lifestyle adjustments over the use of certain medications. It's important that your treatment decisions are made in close collaboration with your healthcare team, who will help you navigate the complexities of managing your condition during this crucial time.

Making an Informed Decision

making a decision of semaglutide during pregnancy

When you're pregnant, choosing medications can be a delicate process. Semaglutide's safety profile during pregnancy remains a gray area due to insufficient human research. It's essential to harness every scrap of information before making a choice that could impact both your and your unborn baby's health.

Consulting with a healthcare provider is a critical step. Your medical history and the severity of your condition play significant roles in this decision. Don't hesitate to ask questions or express concerns. Your provider's expertise is invaluable, as they can extrapolate data from existing studies and apply it to your situation.

Here's what you should consider when discussing semaglutide with your healthcare provider:

  • Risk Versus Benefit: Evaluate the potential risks of uncontrolled diabetes against the uncertain effects of semaglutide on your fetus.
  • Alternative Treatments: Explore safer, established alternatives for managing diabetes during pregnancy.

Your healthcare provider may lay out a personalized treatment plan that minimizes risks and keeps you well-managed throughout your pregnancy. Remember, it's about balancing optimal maternal health with fetal safety.

Keeping abreast of the latest research findings is also crucial. The field of medicine is ever-evolving, and new information could sway the risk-benefit analysis. Check for updates on clinical guidelines and scientific literature.

It's important to stay proactive. Support your informed decision with a diet and exercise plan that aids in managing diabetes. Engaging in mild to moderate exercise, under your doctor's guidance, and following a diabetes-friendly diet can reduce your dependence on medication.

Communication with your healthcare team is ongoing. Make sure to report any changes in your condition and immediately raise any new concerns. Your well-being and that of your unborn baby take center stage, so maintaining an open dialogue with your care providers is pivotal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take semaglutide during pregnancy?

Taking semaglutide during pregnancy is not recommended. It is important to consider the risks and potential benefits because the safety profile for pregnant individuals is not well-established.

What are the risks of using semaglutide while pregnant?

The risks of using semaglutide during pregnancy are not fully understood. It's crucial to discuss potential risks with your healthcare provider, as it may vary based on individual health situations.

Are there alternatives to semaglutide for pregnant individuals?

Yes, there are alternatives to semaglutide for pregnant individuals. Discussing with a healthcare provider is essential to find safe and effective treatment options for managing health during pregnancy.

Should I stop using semaglutide if I'm planning to become pregnant?

If you are planning to become pregnant, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should continue semaglutide or consider other treatment options.

How can I stay informed about the latest research on semaglutide and pregnancy?

Staying informed about semaglutide and pregnancy involves regularly consulting your healthcare provider and reviewing updated research from reliable medical sources and peer-reviewed journals.

Why is ongoing communication with healthcare providers important when considering semaglutide during pregnancy?

Ongoing communication with healthcare providers is vital to monitor health, make informed decisions on medication use, and adjust treatment plans as necessary during pregnancy.


Deciding whether to take semaglutide while pregnant is a significant choice that requires careful consideration and expert guidance. Always prioritize discussions with your healthcare provider to weigh the risks and benefits unique to your situation. 

Remember, alternatives exist, and staying informed about the latest research will empower you to make the best decision for you and your baby's health. Keep the lines of communication open with your medical team and commit to a healthy lifestyle to support your pregnancy journey.