Discover how Birth Control Pills Support Fertility Treatment
Our San Antonio fertility clinic often uses birth control pills for patients undergoing treatments such as IVF or egg freezing. Hormonal contraception can be necessary for treatments that involve ovarian stimulation medications, as birth control pills help control the timing of the cycle and improves the chance that multiple eggs will mature at a consistent rate.
Why patients often use hormonal contraception before starting ovarian stimulation medications
There are several reasons that doctors at our San Antonio fertility clinic might incorporate hormonal contraception into a patient’s treatment plan. These factors can have a significant impact on the success of a patient’s treatment, as they make it easier for the doctor to time the phases of the treatment and improve its overall success.
Providing enhanced predictability. Birth control allows fertility doctors to predict the timing of a patient’s ovulatory cycle more accurately. This predictability makes it easier for the doctor to determine when the patient will begin fertility medications and might be ready for egg retrieval.
Improving follicle stimulation. An important aspect of hormonal contraception during certain fertility treatments is that it prevents ovulation. This prevention minimizes the chance that the patient’s ovaries will produce a lead follicle, which could reduce the number of eggs that mature when the patient is taking ovulation induction medications.
Reducing risk of cysts. It’s common for patients undergoing fertility treatments to develop cysts. While cysts aren’t usually dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and affect the success of treatments. Birth control helps reduce the chance that cysts will form.
To receive the benefits of birth control, doctors often recommend patients take it for one to four weeks before beginning ovulation induction medications.
Birth control pills patients might use before fertility treatment
The type of hormonal contraception the doctor recommends depends on what they think will be most effective, in addition to the preference of the patient, as some patients experience uncomfortable symptoms when taking certain types of birth control.
Combination birth control pill. A combination pill is one of the most common birth control options doctors recommend to suppress ovulation during fertility treatment. This pill contains synthetic estrogen and progesterone, which stop the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), the hormones that trigger ovulation.
Birth control ring. The birth control ring is a viable alternative to the pill, as it also releases synthetic estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation.
Progestin-only pill. A progestin-only pill, also known as the mini-pill, could be an option for some patients, although it might not be as effective as combination birth control.
In addition to these birth control options, doctors advise patients to abstain from intercourse during certain fertility treatments, as this could lead to pregnancy with multiples.
Your doctor might advise the removal of a hormonal IUD for women undergoing an egg freezing cycle, as this type of birth control could interfere with ovarian stimulation medications.
Doctors at our San Antonio fertility clinic work closely with patients to determine if birth control before treatment is best for their unique needs.
Contact us to learn more about taking birth control before fertility treatments.