Freezing Your Eggs With an IUD: What You Should Know

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 types of birth control, 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 or if you are thinking about doing an egg donation cycle.

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). It can be a hormonal IUD or copper IUD.

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 hormonal birth control pills before beginning the egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) process.

I remember NBC correspondent Morgan Radford starting the egg freezing process on the “Today Show” and how her AMH levels were lower than average for her age because she was on hormonal birth control. The anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test is used to determine how well a woman will respond to fertility treatments.

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 and new research has shown that the use of birth control pills can have a negative impact on 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 the fertility clinic where I froze my eggs). They recommend a woman should be off the pill for at least one month before egg freezing.

The egg freezing process already contains a plethora of steps such as blood tests, medical screening, ultrasounds of your ovarian reserve, and hormone injections. You want to give yourself the best chance of having a good number of mature eggs.

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. Not every woman has a regular menstrual cycle, so this also helps determine when to take fertility medications.

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 fertility specialist brings up the idea of birth control pills before you start freezing your eggs. This happened to me when I froze!

Your contraceptive method, as well as talking about fertility preservation, can be deeply personal. I hope this blog post gave you some useful information into take the next step of your fertility journey. Remember you are doing this for yourself, your future family, and to expand your options.

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