If you are pregnant and considering getting Botox for cosmetic reasons, such as facial creases or brow lines, you might not need the treatments at all. When you are pregnant, your body retains water, which usually puffs up your face, filling in the lines, says John Larsen, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and genetics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Risks of Botox
Using Botox has risks, but it is unlikely that there are any increased risks to your baby, says Lori Wolfe, genetic counselor. Botox, when injected into your facial muscles, probably will not circulate throughout your body and to the baby, Wolfe speculates. Even so, because Botox has not been studied in pregnant women, as of 2010, Wolfe recommends that pregnant women wait until after delivering the baby to get Botox injections. “Newsweek” magazine reports new information that Botox injections can travel to the brain, contrary to what researchers once believed. The findings are in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Uses of Botox
People use Botox for muscle stiffness, neck pain associated with cervical dystonia, to treat eye muscle problems, for migraines, for severe underarm sweating and to improve frown lines between the eyebrows. Pregnant women must determine if not taking Botox will be more harmful than taking it while pregnant. Generally, women should not get Botox injections for cosmetic reasons while pregnant.
Botox in Pregnant Animals
Although Botox has not been studied in pregnant women, there have been some cases where pregnant women were exposed to botulinum toxin (Botox) through food poisoning. The toxin did not cross the placenta to the baby, according to the eMedTV website. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives Botox a Category C rating, meaning the medicine has not been studied in pregnant women, but does seem to cause harm in animal fetuses. In pregnant mice and rats, Botox increased the risk of low fetal weight and delayed bone development. It caused miscarriages and birth defects in rabbits.
What if You Had Botox?
If you had a Botox injection before you knew you were pregnant, don’t beat yourself up about it. The risk to your baby is low. The levels of toxin are probably not high enough to cause harm, according to the Botox Guidance website.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you are pregnant, it is always advisable to discuss taking any sort of medication with your health care provider. Botox is no different. Your health care provider will help you determine the possible risks and benefits associated with Botox for your particular situation.
- pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com