Medications like Wegovy and Ozempic have been promoted in recent years for their potential health benefits, not least of all as a way to help control appetite.

Yet recently, they've been hitting the headlines for a very different reason. Multiple women on the social media platform TikTok are reporting unexpected pregnancies while using the semaglutide-based drugs.

Just what this means isn't entirely clear, though there might be reason to suspect the medications could interfere with some classes of birth control.

Ozempic, and other similar drugs, mimic the actions of GLP-1 (or Glucagon-like peptide-1), a hormone produced in the gut after eating. It helps control blood sugar levels, which is why those with diabetes often need an extra dose of it. Another effect of Ozempic is to slow digestion, which is why it's often used as a weight loss drug too.

Though some speculate this might affect oral contraceptives as they flow through their body, research fails to support views that semaglutide reduces contraceptive effectiveness. Even if the 'Ozempic babies' headlines are new, this link has been studied for years, with no evidence of conflict uncovered.

What we seem to be getting now are a rush of anecdotal reports from women using Ozempic and similar drugs, and getting pregnant when they didn't want to – sometimes after years of infertility.

Over the years, GLP-1 agonist drugs have been associated with various health benefits: better cardiovascular health, a reduced risk of dementia, and even an improved level of protection against cancer. It's a fast-moving field, and new discoveries are being made all the time.

Without further research on the impact that GLP-1 agonists may have on oral contraceptives and overall fertility, the TikTok trend cannot be clinically verified.

It's perhaps the weight loss aspect that could be key, some experts suggest: the relationship between body weight and fertility is one that's well recognized at this point, which may help to explain why we're seeing this trend of 'Ozempic babies'.

Based on studies that indicate higher risks of pregnancy loss and birth defects while on semaglutide, doctors strongly recommend avoiding drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic while attempting to fall pregnant.

Research is already underway to help us understand the effects of these drugs in more detail, and how they interact with other processes in the body. It's another reminder that just about any kind of drug treatment comes with side effects and other consequences, positive or negative, that might not be fully understood.