If you’re getting ready to be an egg donor, you are likely very fertile. When is it safe to have sex and when do you need to abstain?
Off the Pill
Once you’ve started the process with intended parents, remember that they are investing money in you. They are pinning their hopes on your successful completion of the donor cycle. Sometimes, a woman is asked by the doctor to take a month or two off of the pill in order to ‘wake the ovaries up’. During this time, a donor may be at risk for pregnancy since they won’t be protected by the pill or other types of hormonal birth control. If a donor becomes pregnant by accident before the cycle starts it can be devastating to the intended parents. Please remember that they have not only invested money, but more importantly, emotional energy in you. Condoms are only about 87% effective! (and as most of us know the ‘pull out method’ is hardly a real method at all…)
3 things to keep in mind
Once you start the stimulating medications you will become super fertile. Although you shouldn’t ovulate during the beginning of the cycle it’s important to keep a couple things in mind:
- Sperm can live in the vagina for up to 5 days! It’s better to abstain during the whole cycle. If you have eggs that weren’t ready for harvest during retrieval those eggs could mature and ovulate after the retrieval. This can potentially resulting in MULTIPLE pregnancies, and the risk of ectopic is much greater. If you become pregnant immediately after a cycle you will be at serious risk for late onset ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
- The ovaries are suspended like hammocks. When you put a lot more weight in a hammock and then shake it or spin it, there is a chance it will flip around and over on itself. The same things can happen with ovaries. It’s called ovarian torsion- a rare but very serious risk of an IVF cycle. It’s important to reduce your exercise, bouncing and jostling during a cycle to prevent this and sex just happens to be all those things.
- If you become pregnant before the cycle, your intended parents either have to wait while you terminate the pregnancy and your cycles go back to normal (typically meaning many months delay) or wait until you’ve given birth and stopped breast feeding (and this is obviously a super long wait) or start over with a whole new donor.
There are plenty of fun things you can do that aren’t penis in vagina! Take the opportunity to try some new stuff with your partner but remember that STIs can be spread in many different ways so you still need to use protection as infections will also delay the process.