Can you donate eggs on birth control? The short answer is that it depends on which form of birth control you are on. Generally, you can donate eggs while on birth control pills or with a NuvaRing. Birth control methods like the patch or an IUD may need to be removed depending on the physician and clinic but will not delay your cycle.
However, methods like the birth control shot (Depo) and arm implants (Nexplanon or Implanon) will delay your cycle as you will need to discontinue use and wait a period of time before donating your eggs. In this blog, we’ll outline what to expect depending on which method of birth control you are using or have used.
Birth control, also known as contraception, contains hormones which change the way the body works and prevents pregnancy. Although birth control does not disqualify you from being an egg donor, you may need to make some adjustments before beginning your egg donation cycle. To start, we’ll share a quick overview on compatible vs. non-compatible forms of birth control.
Generally compatible forms of birth control:
Generally incompatible forms of birth control:
No, you cannot donate eggs while on Depo. Depo-Provera, commonly referred to as “the shot”, is a contraceptive injection that releases a hormone called progestin into your body to prevent ovulation from occuring. The injected hormones will interfere with your egg donation cycle and skew results from your fertility tests.
If you are taking or have taken the Depo shot, you can still be an egg donor in the future. We will consider you for our egg donor program approximately 3 months after your last Depo shot, and once you have had at least one normal period.
The birth control arm implant, Nexplanon or Implanon, is a tiny rod about the size of a matchstick which releases hormones into your body to prevent pregnancy. You cannot donate eggs with a birth control implant because the hormones from the implant will interfere with your cycle. At Donor Nexus, we require that you have the implant removed and have at least one regular period before being admitted into our egg donor program.
Birth control pills function like medicine with hormones, where the hormones (estrogen and/or progestin) prevent fertilization. Since birth control pills do not make a woman less fertile, women who are on the pill can still become egg donors.
It is generally fine to continue taking your birth control pills while waiting to be matched and your physician will communicate the details on if/when the birth control pills should be paused. As an egg donor, you will need to be open and candid in the interviews with your agency Case Manager and physician in order to receive the necessary guidelines for the process.
Yes, you can donate eggs with a NuvaRing. If you are using a birth control patch, you will likely need to remove it and switch to BCPs for the cycle.
For information on IUDs, visit this blog: Can You Donate Eggs With an IUD?
At Donor Nexus, an egg donor can expect to be placed on birth control pills before starting stimulation medications. Usually, doctors will have you take BCPs for 7 to 10 days before starting stimulation medications. This has been shown to help the follicles (egg containing structures) grow at a similar rate which leads to a greater number of mature eggs retrieved.
Always remember to use birth control if you are sexually active during the donor selection process. Once you are chosen as an egg donor and begin stimulation medications, it is extremely important to remain abstinent as you will be very fertile during this time and will not be on birth control.
During the stimulation period of approximately 12-14 days, it is required that you refrain from having having sex. If you have sex during this time, there is a high probability that you may become pregnant with multiples. The egg donation cycle would be cancelled, which would result in the donor not receiving compensation and the donor parents being devastated about the loss. Even with the use of condoms, the risk is too high since your eggs are stimulated and ready for pregnancy. Fortunately, our egg donors are very well-informed about this beforehand and this scenario rarely happens.
So, to answer, “can I be on birth control and donate eggs?”, the answer is yes! We hope this blog was helpful in helping you understand what to expect. Although the egg donation process may interrupt your birth control protocol, you can still be a successful egg donor.
We recommend that you begin the egg donor application process or contact our team to learn if you qualify for our egg donor program before abandoning your birth control method. If you have any additional questions, our team is always here to help!