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Botox Effect on Pregnancy

I got both Botox and dermal filler before finding out that I was pregnant for 4 weeks. Would this effect the unborn baby?

Doctor Answers 11

Botox Effect on Pregnancy

Hi fleecy,

There must have been thousands of women like you who received cosmetic Botox before they found out that they were pregnant. I am sure that we would have heard about a cause and effect relationship if there was one. Unfortunately, there are far too many babies more each day with birth defects to women who never even thought about Botox.

A retired OB-GYN recently shared that early in his career of delivering babies, when sadly there was a problem, it was thought to be related nature, or to G-d, or to fate. Over the last half of his career, there always had to something or someone to blame for an unfavorable outcome.

There was a recent report actually from "down under" about one woman whose infant had hearing and seeing problems; she had Botox early in her pregnancy.

I most strongly do not believe that one case out of tens of thousands of woman who had Botox before they knew they were pregnant makes for a cause and effect relationship that is worth another moment of your minds worries. Do share your concerns with your physician who is taking care of your pregnancy.

I wish you a healthy pregnancy with a smooth delivery and most of all a healthy new baby in your family. Be well

Good Day,

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Pregnancy and Botox

Hi Fleecy,

Although Botox and dermal fillers are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding patients, there is no proven connection between any problems with the fetus and these products. Botox remains very localized after injection and has very little if any systemic effects (internal effects) because of the low dosages associated with Botox Cosmetic. Many dermal fillers such as Restylane Juvederm and Perlane use Hyaluronic Acid, a naturally occurring compound in the body.

Not to worry, all should be well with your baby. But avoid any unnecessary cosmetic treatments while pregnant from here on out. Good luck with the pregnancy.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

No, Botox will not affect pregnancy

Botox is a locally active agent. Meaning it is injected and acts on the muscle it is injected to. Although it will diffuse mildly into the surrounding muscles, unless it is injected directly into a vein it will not cause problems systemically. Remember botox is a paralytic so if it gets into your system other things will stop working first.

Botox and pregnancy

This is nearly impossible to quantify.

Remember that botox is derived from the bacterial byproduct that was intially known to occur commonly in canned vegetables and fruits. In very high doses this caused Botulism and in rare instances even death. However, in reality, I am sure that people and pregnant women have been exposed to this in considerably lower doses wihout ill effects.

The doses used in Botox are exceptionally small. Generally the medication is taken up by nerve endings in the area of injection and it tends to stay localized without access to the systemic circulation where it could pass to the placenta.

More recently some concern was created when an aniumal study showed that the nerves may pass the Botox to the Central Nervous System. However, the effects of this were unknown.

Overall, there is very little evidence to suggest that Botox, in the doses used for your cosmetic improvement, would have any detrimental or long term effects on the development of the fetus. Of course you should discuss this with your obstetrician. Be rest assured that Botox has a relatively high safety profile.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Botox and pregnancy

Obviously an expectant mother should not receive Botox or fillers. Why take even the smallest chance with the new baby?

However in your situation, there was probably no damage done, at least as far as any reports I have ever read or come across. Botox is quickly protein bound and there is no evidence it crosses the placental barrier to damage the fetus.

I certainly would not get an ulcer worrying about something that you can't do anything about now, and is probably a non-issue!

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

It's Best to Avoid Botox During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Because no formal testing has been done for Botox in pregnant women, no one can actually answer that question, although there is a very small study of women who did receive Botox while pregnant and there were no effects to their children. While there are no official reports of adverse consequences, experts do not feel it is possible to say that it is definitively safe.  An experienced professional would not recommend the application during pregnancy, and until one has finished breastfeeding.

The best advice in this circumstance is to speak with your obstetrician and obtain their recommendation and guidance.

Steven Svehlak, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Botox and pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy.   While it is highly unlikely that Botox will cause any long term problems because it acts locally, no one knows for sure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Not a cause for worry.

At this point it is not a cause for worry. Botox should not be injected in pregnant women, but this is just a precaution and there is no established or documented issues with incidental Botox injections. Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Dont worry

It is unlikely that there will be a problem. Now that you know you are pregnant, just take prudent precautions. I wouldn't go for more Botox or other elective procedures until after delivery.

The dose of BOTOX cosmetic is very small

Dear Fleecy,

We absolutely do not recommend BOTOX (or virtually anything else) when you are pregnant. However, it is not so uncommon to find out that a BOTOX treatment occurred after conception. There is no evidence that this makes any difference for the developing fetus. However, it is a common thing to worry about because, lets face it, a new mom to be has to worry about so many things. The dose of BOTOX used for cosmetic purposes is so tiny that it is thought that it stays localized where it is injected.

BOTOX is not just used for cosmetic purposes, so there are circumstances where a physician may need to weight the relative risk of using this treatment with the limited information on its potential effects on a developing fetus. A recent study surveyed 900 physicians who use botulinum toxin A. 12 physicians reported treating 16 women. One woman with a prior history of spontaneous abortions, lost her pregnancy and another had therapeutic abortion. The other 14 went to term with no complications. However, don't expect a definitive answer to this question any time soon because none one will be performing a double blind experiment in humans to answer this question ever.

So we say, follow the advise of your treating obstetrician/gynecologist and take comfort in what we do know which is any risks of your treatment seem to be quite small.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.