Medications and Drugs
Some medications can cause birth defects and should only be taken when effective contraceptives are used.
Talk to your health care provider about any medications and herbal remedies you are taking.
- The substances you are taking may have an impact on your fertility. They may reach your baby through the placenta. The potential harmful effects are not always known or studied.
- Talk to your health care provider before stopping any prescribed medications.
Ask your health care provider the following questions:
- Is this medication or herbal remedy safe to take if planning a pregnancy?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the risks?
- Are there any alternatives?
Taking recreational or street drugs can be harmful to your health. Several recreational and street drugs have been linked to infertility.
- Discuss any recreational or street drug use with your health care provider before conception.
- It is safest not to use drugs when planning a pregnancy or during pregnancy. Speak to your health care provider about the safest way to stop before conception.
Use of recreational drugs may lead to infants:
- Being born too soon and being smaller than average.
- Having health problems.
- Going through drug withdrawal.
- Having problems learning.
Ask for help if you want to stop using recreational or street drugs.
- Your partner, family members, or friends may be a great source of support.
- Speak with your health care provider about services to help you stop safely.
For more information and help to stop using drugs:
- Best Start Resource Centre, Risks of Cannabis on Fertility, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Parenting.
- Call the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) at 1-800-463-6273 for a self-referral for assessment and treatment around addiction/substance use.
- Call the Drug and Alcohol Helpline at 1-800-565-8603 for free, confidential information about alcohol and drug addiction services in Ontario.
- Motherisk Helpline – 1-877-439-2744.
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - Medications and drugs before pregnancy.