Botox has many medical and cosmetic uses. With the current data available, Botox is considered category C during pregnancy. The definition of pregnancy category C is “Category C: Risk cannot be ruled out. There are no satisfactory studies in pregnant women, but animal studies demonstrated a risk to the fetus; potential benefits of the drug may outweigh the risks”. Read more...
During pregnancy, as a general rule of thumb, it is important to only perform procedures that are known to be safe AND necessary for the health of the patient.
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Is it safe to get Botox during pregnancy?
Botox has many medical and cosmetic uses. With the current data available, Botox is considered category C. The definition of pregnancy category C is “Category C: Risk cannot be ruled out. There are no satisfactory studies in pregnant women, but animal studies demonstrated a risk to the fetus; potential benefits of the drug may outweigh the risks.”
That being said, in the limited data available, the absorption of Botox systemically is thought to be low. The amount of Botox injected for cosmetic purposes tends to be very low. The few cases available seem to indicate that the size of the Botox molecule may be too large to cross over to the placenta. However, there is simply not enough data available to state with certainty if Botox is safe during pregnancy.
What are the risks of Botox to the fetus and mother?
The standard risks of Botox injections to the mother still apply during pregnancy. The risk to the fetus is unknown at this time.
Should women stop getting Botox if they are trying to conceive? If so, how long before?
In general, if you are planning a pregnancy remember that Botox is only effective for about 3 to 4 months. If it is at all possible, factor this time frame into your planning. That being said, please do not panic if you find out you are pregnant after obtaining Botox injections. Although the risks are not clear, the case reports available of people who have had Botox during pregnancy did not show a detrimental effect on the fetus. Since these are only case reports with no large studies, the risk is still places Botox in pregnancy category C.
What should a woman do if she got Botox before she knew she was pregnant?
In the small number of cases of women who did have Botox injections during pregnancy, there has not been an indication of an adverse event with the data we have available at this time. It is always important to disclose information to your obstetrician however it is thought that Botox does not likely cross the placenta.
Do doctors ever test for pregnancy before giving Botox?
There are no current guidelines recommending pregnancy testing for those obtaining Botox injections. A study surveying physician use of Botox during pregnancy found that a very small percentage perform the procedure during known pregnancy.
Do you recommend that women take a pregnancy test before getting Botox?
If you are concerned about a potential pregnancy, it is always best to test prior to the procedure. Bear in mind that if you are truly concerned about the potential for pregnancy while getting Botox injections, then the concern persists for 3 to 4 months after the procedure until it wears off.
Is it safe to get Botox while breastfeeding?
It is unknown if Botox can be secreted into breast milk. Given the unclear risk and potential transfer to the infant, it is best to avoid it.
Are there any safe alternatives to Botox during pregnancy?
The safest alternative to cosmetic interventions during pregnancy is to wait. Waiting until postpartum or post-nursing will not set your anti-aging journey back by much.