Date: May 2017, Version 2

What is LSD?

LSD is a recreational drug that causes hallucinations and changes in mood and behaviour.

Is it safe to use LSD during pregnancy?

LSD use in pregnancy is not advised. When a pregnant woman uses LSD it enters her bloodstream and crosses the placenta to the baby. There is very little high quality scientific information on the effects that LSD use in pregnancy might have on a developing baby’s health or brain. The little information that is available suggests that LSD use may be harmful to a pregnancy.

What if I have already used LSD during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant and use LSD you should speak to your doctor or midwife about this. They will be able to advise you on getting help and support to stop using LSD.

Can using LSD during pregnancy cause birth defects?

A baby’s body and most internal organs are formed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is mainly during this time that exposure to recreational drugs could potentially cause birth defects.

It is currently unclear whether use of LSD in pregnancy might cause birth defects in the baby as no well-designed studies have been carried out. There are case reports of a number of babies with limb or brain defects being born to mothers who used LSD in pregnancy but it is unclear whether the defects in the baby were linked to LSD use during pregnancy or occurred due to other factors.

Can using LSD in pregnancy cause miscarriage?

It is currently unclear whether use of LSD in pregnancy might cause miscarriage as no well-designed studies have been carried out to investigate this. Scientific reports have suggested that women who use LSD in early pregnancy may be more likely to miscarry than women who do not, but further research is required to determine whether this is the case.

Can using LSD in pregnancy cause stillbirth?

No studies have investigated the chance of stillbirth in women who use LSD in pregnancy.

Can using LSD in pregnancy cause premature birth, or low birth weight in the baby?

No studies have investigated the chance of premature birth (<37 weeks) or low birth weight (<2,500 g) in babies born to women who use LSD in pregnancy.

Can using LSD in pregnancy cause learning or behavioural problems in the child?

A baby’s brain continues to develop right up until the end of pregnancy. It is therefore possible that exposure to certain substances at any stage of pregnancy could have a lasting effect on a child’s learning or behaviour.

Because LSD affects mood and behaviour there are theoretical concerns that it might have effects on a baby’s developing brain that could cause lifelong difficulties. However, learning and behaviour of children who have been exposed to LSD in the womb has not been studied and it is therefore not possible to measure how big any risk might be.

Will my baby need extra monitoring during pregnancy?

As part of their routine antenatal care most women will be offered a scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy to look for birth defects and to check the baby’s growth.

If you have used LSD during pregnancy it is best for you and your baby that you tell your doctor or midwife as soon as possible. They will then be able to make sure that you and your baby receive extra monitoring or support if necessary. 

Are there any risks to my baby if the father used LSD?

No studies have specifically investigated whether LSD used by the father can harm the baby through effects on the sperm. More research on the effects of drug and medicine use in men around the time of conception is needed.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.