Approximately one in six women worldwide suffers from infertility, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

That’s why many couples turn to solutions from acupuncture or herbal supplements, to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and even surrogacy.

But as CBS12’s Dani Travis reports, a new phenomenon of women having surprise pregnancies while taking weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy.

Here we are again talking about Semaglutide. But this time, it’s not about weight loss, diabetes or cardiovascular disease prevention, but what doctors are seeing now are women taking these weight-loss drugs getting pregnant, even if they’re birth control or have a history of fertility problems.

Now we’re seeing a phenomenon that some people have coined the term Ozempic babies, said Dr. Melanie Altizer, chief of obstetrics at St. Marys Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Ozempic babies, the miracle many wish for, will finally come true. But not in the traditional way that Semaglutide was intended for.

Anything that can help my patients that I didn’t have an answer to before is always a wonderful thing for me, said Dr. Leah Roberts, a reproductive endocrinology and fertility doctor at Boca Fertility IVF Center.

See also: Semaglutide: Weight loss wonder drug may also prevent heart and kidney disease

Dr. Roberts specializes in the treatment of infertility.

He says that about 90% of his patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are obese. This syndrome makes it almost impossible for these patients to lose weight.

With PCOS, you either won’t ovulate at all, or your ovulation may be suboptimal in one way or another, Dr. Roberts said. Ozempic has truly been a miracle as even among the PCOS population there are great stories of weight loss. Thus, if these patients are able to lose 10% of their body weight, they return to normal ovulation.

This can be a gift for patients who have been struggling to get pregnant.

“If you’re obese and you’re having fertility problems, you take one of these drugs and then you lose a lot of weight and then you go back to normal fertility and then all of a sudden you end up with a surprise pregnancy,” Dr. Altizer said. .

But as Dr. Altizer says, for women on birth control, an unexpected pregnancy isn’t always good news.

My own practice was to see patients come in and get a history. Yes, I was taking Ozempic when I found out I was suddenly pregnant, said Dr. Altizer. “I thought I had a reliable birthday check.

Dr. Altizer says this is because Semaglutide hypermetabolizes your birth control medication, meaning it doesn’t stay in your system as long as it normally would.

Anytime anything reduces the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, whether it’s delayed gastric emptying or a medication that chemically interferes with how the drug works, you run the risk of an unintended pregnancy, Dr. Altizer said.

Like everything else with these drugs, there is still a lot of research to be done. This is why none of these doctors recommend Ozempic or anything like it for people trying to get pregnant.

As a method to help achieve pregnancy, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for that, said Dr. Altizer.

We don’t recommend actively trying to conceive while taking these medications, Dr. Roberts said.

Both doctors agree, losing weight makes pregnancy safer because obesity increases the risk of complications.

But they warn, there is no research on how these drugs can affect the baby’s development, so they recommend losing weight and then stopping the medication for a while before trying to get pregnant.

Another thing that Dr. Roberts points out is that often infertility is also an issue for the potential father in this equation. Obese men can also be less fertile, so losing weight can improve a partner’s chances on both sides.

But again, Dr. Roberts says more research and clinical trials are needed to truly understand how these drugs interact with the reproductive system in both men and women.

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