Is It Safe to Get BOTOX® During Pregnancy?

By: Dr. Angelo Cuzalina


Because most people touch up their BOTOX results by getting new injections every 3 – 4 months, it’s common to have BOTOX and pregnancy questions. Do women need to avoid BOTOX during pregnancy? And, if so, why?

Below, cosmetic surgeon Dr. Angelo Cuzalina of Tulsa Surgical Arts in Tulsa, OK has the answers to your questions about pregnant women and BOTOX injections.

Is it safe to get BOTOX during pregnancy?

When you learn you’re expecting, it’s normal to have questions and concerns about all aspects of your skin care routine. That’s why it’s crucial to have a good cosmetic surgeon you can turn to.

BOTOX is made from botulinum toxin and, more specifically, the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In general, BOTOX is safe, and since it’s been around for 20 years, we know a lot about its long-term effects. However, it’s not ethical to do studies on pregnant women and BOTOX, so we have to rely on evidence collected over time and studies done on mice.

Unfortunately, while we don’t know how exactly how BOTOX affects human embryos, it does have serious effects on the embryos of developing mice. This is enough to tell us that it’s simply not safe enough to be used during pregnancy. It’s reasonable to assume that BOTOX is likely to involve some risks to developing humans, even if they’re not as serious as those in the mice studies.

When can pregnant women get BOTOX?

Doctors typically advise new mothers not to get BOTOX while breastfeeding since we’re unsure of the consequences. However, testing the breastmilk of mothers who have received BOTOX shows that none of the toxin is present in their breastmilk.

It will be up to you and your doctor to decide if getting BOTOX while you are still breastfeeding is safe. Many mothers choose to postpone the procedure, while others work around a schedule, so they are not nursing right after BOTOX injections. The FDA still considers the risks of BOTOX during nursing to be “unknown.”

BOTOX and pregnancy questions

Expecting mothers who got BOTOX before they knew they were pregnant are often concerned about the effects of the botulism toxin on their fetus. Again, while we don’t know the answers for sure, it’s unlikely that a BOTOX treatment affected a developing fetus since the injections are usually made on the face. The amount of toxin is relatively small and unlikely to be enough to travel to the bloodstream and affect a fetus.

Again, no human studies show whether or how BOTOX affects a pregnant woman or fetus at any stage, so we cannot say anything for sure. That said, some doctors will warn women trying to conceive not to use BOTOX to be maximally safe.

However, if you are concerned, it’s worth pointing out that we have been using BOTOX for decades, and there is still no apparent connection between BOTOX and birth defects or pregnancy complications.

Find out more about BOTOX in Tulsa, OK

BOTOX has been used for decades and has a long safety track record. But it’s still important to ask your doctor your BOTOX and pregnancy questions. You may also want to mention if you plan to become pregnant if you’re concerned about the effects of BOTOX on a developing fetus or nursing baby.

Schedule a consultation with cosmetic surgeon Dr. Angelo Cuzalina at Tulsa Surgical Arts in Tulsa, OK if you have more questions.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.