LASIK Eye Surgery & Pregnancy: A Guide for Expecting Mothers

Team Health Cages

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can you get lasik eye surgery while pregnant


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on LASIK Eye Surgery & Pregnancy. Expectant mothers often have questions about the safety and timing of LASIK surgery, considering the significant changes their bodies undergo during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks associated with LASIK during pregnancy, the effects of pregnancy on the eyes, and the recommended timing for LASIK surgery for women planning a pregnancy or currently breastfeeding. Whether you’re considering LASIK now or in the future, this guide aims to provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your vision correction journey.

These topics will be discussed in this blog:

Laser Eye Surgery During Pregnancy?

Generally, it isn’t recommended to have laser eye surgery or undergo LASIK while pregnant due to hormonal fluctuations impacting the eyes. Pregnant women experience significant hormonal changes necessary to support their pregnancies. Levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), estrogen, and progesterone fluctuate during pregnancy. These hormonal changes can trigger side effects related to LASIK or pregnancy, making the procedure less advisable during this time.

Side Effects of Pregnancy on the Eyes

A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy, and the eyes are no exception.

Change in Cornea Shape

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can alter the cornea by increasing its curvature and thickness. These corneal changes can modify a woman’s vision prescription. Sometimes, these changes are temporary and revert to the pre-pregnancy state, but other times, they can be permanent. It’s important to note that undergoing LASIK while pregnant can worsen these corneal changes and affect vision.

Dry Eyes

Pregnancy hormones can lead to dry eyes and blurred vision by reducing tear production. Since laser eye surgery can also cause dry eyes and blurred vision, being pregnant can put extra strain on the eyes during the recovery period after surgery.

Pregnancy-Related Conditions

Pregnancy can lead to illnesses like gestational diabetes and hypertension, which may affect the eyes.

Before considering laser eye surgery or LASIK during pregnancy, various tests and measurements are conducted to ensure successful outcomes. If the cornea changes curvature or thickness during pregnancy and surgery is performed, vision may be affected after childbirth.

Undergoing laser eye surgery while breastfeeding

The majority of laser eye surgeons typically suggest that nursing mothers wait until they’ve finished breastfeeding before considering surgery. This precaution is due to the hormonal fluctuations experienced during breastfeeding, which can potentially influence the curvature of the cornea.

Additionally, the medications administered during surgery and the recovery process might not be compatible with nursing mothers. These factors underscore the significance of comprehending the ramifications of undergoing LASIK while breastfeeding. Medications have the potential to transfer into the mother’s milk supply, potentially reducing it. The safest course of action is to complete breastfeeding and then wait for one month before proceeding with final measurements and laser eye surgery.

When Should You Have LASIK Eye Surgery if You’re Planning a Pregnancy?

A woman can undergo LASIK eye surgery shortly before conceiving. There’s no identified risk to fertility or the future fetus from the laser or medications. However, the primary concern with having laser eye surgery during pregnancy is the potential risks to the mother’s eyesight. Therefore, it’s advisable to schedule LASIK either before or after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What Are the Risks to the Fetus or Infant During LASIK Eye Surgery?

Although the laser procedure itself poses no harm to the fetus or infant, the medications administered before, during, and after surgery may have implications. Before LASIK, a sedative might be given to induce relaxation during the procedure. Anesthetic eye drops are used during the procedure to numb the eyes. Following surgery, antibiotics and steroid eye drops are often prescribed. Patients may also receive oral pain medication to alleviate any discomfort after the operation.

The impact of these medications on an unborn child, or an infant in the case of a nursing mother, remains largely uncertain. Hence, pregnant women should refrain from taking these medications unless necessary.

When is the Best Time to Undergo LASIK After Pregnancy?

Some ophthalmologists may entertain the idea of LASIK during pregnancy. Nevertheless, the majority of eye surgeons advise women to wait until one of three milestones before considering refractive surgery: the birth of the baby, resumption of menstrual periods, or cessation of breastfeeding. The specific milestone deemed appropriate may vary among doctors. For breastfeeding mothers, hormonal fluctuations persist, and there’s apprehension regarding the potential impact of medications on the nursing baby. As a general practice, we recommend discontinuing breastfeeding for one month before undergoing final measurements for surgery.


In conclusion, this comprehensive guide sheds light on the intricate relationship between LASIK eye surgery and pregnancy, offering valuable insights for expecting mothers. We’ve explored the potential risks associated with undergoing LASIK during pregnancy, emphasizing the importance of timing and the impact of hormonal fluctuations on vision. Additionally, we’ve discussed the significance of waiting until after pregnancy or breastfeeding to minimize risks to both mother and baby. By understanding these factors, individuals can make informed decisions about their vision correction journey, ensuring optimal outcomes for themselves and their families.


Q1. Does LASIK eye surgery affect pregnancy?

A1. While the laser procedure itself doesn’t cause harm to the fetus or infant, the medications used before, during, and after surgery may have an impact. Sedatives and anesthetic eye drops are commonly administered during LASIK, potentially affecting pregnancy.

Q2. Can I give natural birth after LASIK?

A2. Laser vision correction typically does not affect the condition of the retina, which is most prone to damage during natural labor. Therefore, LASIK usually does not prevent individuals from giving birth naturally.

Q3. What is not allowed after LASIK?

A3. After LASIK, it’s important to avoid rubbing your eyes, using eye makeup, consuming alcohol for 48 hours, and engaging in physical activities that could lead to eye injury.

Q4. Why can’t you cry after LASIK?

A4. Crying after LASIK is generally safe, as natural tears won’t harm the corneal flaps or impede the healing process. Crying can help keep the eyes lubricated.

Q5. What percentage of people get dry eyes from LASIK?

A5. Dry eyes are a common side effect of LASIK, with about 95% of patients experiencing them immediately after surgery and approximately 40% experiencing dry eyes for more than six months.

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