Egg Donation & Birth Control

Most of our egg donors come to us on some form of birth control. This is normal and expected and most times has no impact on your donation journey. However, certain methods of birth control can cause your donation journey to slow down. Here’s a look at what those birth control methods include and why they’ll cause us to hit “pause” on your journey.

Depo-Provera.

More commonly referred to as, “the shot”, Depo Provera delays the egg donation process for a period of six months. This represents the longest halt caused by birth control. If you are on the shot we will ask you to discontinue use and contact us again in six months. The first six months following discontinuation have been shown to lead to a lower fertility return. We want to make sure there is ample time for all of the medication to exit your system before attempting to stimulate your body to produce a large number of eggs. You should also be having regular and normal menstrual cycles before we’re able to move forward.

Norplant/Implanon.

Commonly called implants, this method of birth control will delay your donation by about two months. Once the implant is removed your normal hormone concentration will return within two weeks. A general guideline is to wait an additional four to six weeks to ensure that your body’s fertility potential is at its optimum rate before starting your stimulation cycle.

Hormonal IUD.

There are two types of intrauterine device used to prevent pregnancy. The first, Paraguard or other copper based products, may be left in place during the entire donation process. The second option is a hormone based IUD, commonly the Mirena. This type of birth control does need to be removed, but the process of removal will vary from person to person. Some donors may be able to leave the device in until their medical screening. Occasionally those with a low Ovarian Assessment Report will need to have the device removed sooner and wait for two normal menstrual cycles to pass before we can move forward with the donation. The OAR is a simple test completed in order to give doctors the best possible assessment of your reproductive health.

If you have additional concerns about your method of birth control and how it will impact your donation you should plan to talk with your Admissions Specialist before medical screening.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.