Over the last few months, I’ve had two friends talk to me about wanting to start the process of freezing their eggs. The first question I asked them was, “Are you on birth control?” One friend had an IUD. The other friend has been on the birth control pills for years.
I gave them two different responses.
Freezing my eggs at 28 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I highly encourage other women to look into it.
Since so many women are on different kinds of contraceptives, I thought I’d write a blog post exploring whether a woman can freeze her eggs while using an IUD for birth control and/or the pill.
You’ll also learn about whether you need to temporarily stop using contraceptives before going through the process and if there are any side effects of being on birth control while trying to freeze your eggs.
This post is all about egg freezing with an IUD.
Can you freeze or donate eggs with an IUD?
Yes!! You CAN freeze her eggs while using an IUD (intrauterine device).
According to a study published by Shady Grove Fertility found that having an IUD does not affect the quality of the eggs or the success of the freezing process. It also does not impact your ovarian reserve (the number of eggs you have).
Additionally, a woman can also choose to donate her eggs while using an IUD, as there is no evidence to suggest that the presence of an IUD would impact the viability of the donated eggs.
Other forms of birth control and egg freezing
But what if you are on other forms of birth control like the pill, ring, or patch?
Can I freeze my eggs while on the pill?
It’s recommended that women should stop taking birth control pills before beginning the egg freezing process.
Birth control pills contain hormones that can affect the natural hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s body, potentially impacting the egg retrieval process. By stopping the pills, it allows the body to return to its natural hormonal balance.
Some studies have shown that the use of birth control pills can affect the number and quality of eggs retrieved during the process, so it is best to discontinue their use before starting egg freezing, according to CCRM (which is where I froze my eggs). They recommend a woman should be off the pill for at least one month before egg freezing.
Related post: 15 egg freezing questions to ask your doctor
Can I freeze my eggs with NuvaRing?
No, a woman cannot freeze her eggs while using NuvaRing.
NovaRing is a form of hormonal birth control that prevents ovulation. Freezing eggs requires a woman to undergo hormonal stimulation to produce multiple eggs, which is not possible while using NuvaRing.
This means you cannot freeze your eggs on the patch, but you can resume both methods when you are done with the egg freezing process.
Your doctor may prescribe birth control before you freeze your eggs
This may seem weird to hear but your fertility doctor may actually prescribe you birth control pills at the beginning of your egg freezing cycle for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s all about timing and schedules. Birth control can help regulate and synchronize your cycle with the timing of the egg retrieval procedure, making it easier to plan and manage the entire process. This way, everything lines up just right for the most successful outcome.
Also, taking birth control pills for a couple of weeks can help in controlling the size of your ovaries.
Sometimes, the ovaries can become enlarged or cystic during the initial stages of the egg freezing process, so birth control can help to prevent this from happening and keep things on track according to Texas Fertility Center.
So, don’t be surprised if your doc brings up the idea of birth control pills before you start freezing your eggs. This happened to me when I froze!