Menopause Home > Depo-Estradiol and Pregnancy
Depo-Estradiol (estradiol cypionate) is considered a pregnancy Category X medication, which means that it should not be used during pregnancy. Although Depo-Estradiol does not appear to increase the risk of birth defects or other problems, the full risks of the medication are not known. Also, there is no legitimate medical reason for pregnant women to use this medication. If you are using Depo-Estradiol and pregnancy occurs, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider.
An Overview of Depo-Estradiol and PregnancyDepo®-Estradiol (estradiol cypionate) is a prescription estrogen hormone replacement medication. There is no legitimate medical reason for pregnant women to use estrogen medications, including Depo-Estradiol.
Depo-Estradiol and Pregnancy Category XThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medications that should not be used during pregnancy in any circumstance, usually due to serious problems that could occur (such as birth defects or miscarriages). For these medications, the possible risks always outweigh the possible benefits for pregnant women.
Although Depo-Estradiol is a Category X medication, it does not appear to increase the risk of birth defects or other problems. However, because there is no accepted, legitimate medical reason for pregnant women to use Depo-Estradiol and because the risks are not fully understood, it should not be used during pregnancy.
It is important to understand that estrogens (such as Depo-Estradiol) are not effective for preventing miscarriages or other problems in pregnancy.
Depo-Estradiol creates a unique problem when inadvertently used during pregnancy, as one injection lasts for quite a while (at least a month), and there is no way to "take back" or remove the medication once it has been injected. This means that even if pregnancy is detected very early (and Depo-Estradiol is stopped immediately), a woman who has been using Depo-Estradiol may expose her fetus to the medication for quite some time.