If you’re planning to become an egg donor, it may be time to rethink your birth control plan. The good news is that you can use many forms of birth control, with a few exceptions.
Before becoming an egg donor, you will undergo a thorough screening process to establish that you are a good candidate. You don’t have to be perfect, but you must meet all criteria. Once selected, you’ll need to follow the rules to ensure we can retrieve a sufficient number of healthy, viable eggs. One of the most frequently asked questions relates to the types of birth control that are allowed or not allowed during the egg donation process.
Regardless of which form of birth control you are using, you will need to stop intercourse for approximately three to four weeks during the egg donation process. This includes while you are injecting fertility hormones through the egg retrieval process, and for about two to three weeks afterward as you will be more fertile following the retrieval procedure. Clinics may suggest for you to use two forms of non-hormonal methods following retrieval to ensure you do not become pregnant via any remaining eggs that weren’t retrieved during your appointment.
Condoms, diaphragms, and spermicide are all fine to use as they don’t affect fertility hormone levels.
Birth control pills are all okay because their hormonal effects on the body are timed in 24-hour intervals, which we can work with when it’s time to stimulate extra egg maturity for the egg retrieval process. However, there will come a time when you’ll need to stop taking the pill for a short duration.
While vaginal rings, such as the NuvaRing secrete progesterone and estrogen, they are more similar to the pill. The hormones cease to enter your system within 24-hours or so after removing the ring. You’ll be told when to remove the ring prior to ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval to prevent any hormone conflicts.
IUDs that do not excrete hormones are also okay while donating eggs. These have no impact on ovulation cycles and can remain in place.
Mirena and other IUDs that use hormones in addition to uterine disruption are not allowed in most clinics This is because the hormones conflict with the medications used to stimulate the ovaries. You will most likely need to have your hormonal IUD removed and replaced with a copper or other type of non-hormonal IUD prior to initiating a egg donation cycle.
You cannot use Depo-Provera if you want to be an egg donor. This is because the hormones have a long-term effect on fertility hormone balance and ovulation. Most egg donor programs require donors remain Depo-Provera free prior to initiating donor screening.
Similar to Depo-Provera shots, hormonal birth control implants regulate hormones on a long-term basis. You’ll need to have the implant removed and switch to an approved-egg donor birth control for at least three months before becoming an egg donor.
The Donor Egg Network is here to support your every step of the way. We highly value the contribution you’re making to individuals and couples around the world. Therefore, we provide all of our donors with clear and detailed instructions about what they can and can’t do before, during, and immediately after the egg donation cycle.
Published on June 6, 2022.