Senior Health Home > Depo-Testosterone and Pregnancy

Because it may cause harm to a fetus during pregnancy, Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate) is classified as a pregnancy Category X medicine. This means that women should not use Depo-Testosterone if they are expecting. Based on animal studies and a few reported human cases, using this drug while pregnant may cause masculinization of the genitals in female fetuses.

Can Pregnant Women Use Depo-Testosterone?

Depo®-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate) is a prescription medication approved only for use in men. It contains testosterone and is not safe for use by pregnant women in any situation. Notably, Depo-Testosterone is not approved for any use in women.

What Is Pregnancy Category X?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medicines that show problems to the fetus in animal studies or in humans who have mistakenly taken the medicine.
When pregnant animals or women are exposed to androgens, such as Depo-Testosterone, there is a definite risk for masculinization of the genitals in female fetuses. The risk for the most dramatic changes occurs with early first-trimester exposure, although exposure at any time during pregnancy can cause some genital changes.
Because it would be unethical to give this drug to pregnant women, the use of Depo-Testosterone in pregnant women has never been studied in a clinical trial. However, we know about the problems Depo-Testosterone might cause based on the problems that occurred when testosterone and other androgens were given to pregnant animals (and based on a few cases of testosterone exposure in pregnant women).

Final Thoughts

Depo-Testosterone has not been approved for any use in women. Using this medicine during pregnancy can cause severe genital defects in female fetuses. Therefore, you should not use Depo-Testosterone if you are or may become pregnant. It is important to let your healthcare provider know right away if you have used this drug or been exposed to it during pregnancy.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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