Should birth control pills be used in IVF?

Should birth control pills be used in IVF?

Birth control pills can be a bad idea for IVF patients with low ovarian reserve

Almost since the very inception of IVF, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), or birth control pills, have been routinely used to prepare patient for IVF cycles. They, indeed, are perfect tools to control the timing of cycle starts. However, they are "perfect" tools only in women with normal ovarian reserve.

In women with low ovarian reserve, i.e. in women at older ages and in younger women with premature ovarian aging (POA), OCPs are counterproductive, because their function is to suppress ovaries. In women with low ovarian reserve, ovarian function is already severely suppressed, and further suppression would harm their IVF pregnancy chances. OCPs, therefore, should not be used in such women. Like other fertility medications that suppress ovarian reserve, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists and long agonists, OCPs can counteract other treatments given to patients to improve their ovarian performance, like androgen supplementation and human growth hormone.

This is a part of the September 2018 CHR VOICE.

Norbert Gleicher, MD

Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.

Follow on LinkedIn    

Watch his videos on YouTube    

 


We have helped women bring over
17,800 babies into the world.

DISCOVER YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS

 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Make These Diet Changes to Improve Your Fertility

Make These Diet Changes to Improve Your Fertility

While infertility can’t always be avoided, there are ways you and your partner can boost your chances of getting pregnant. Eating a healthy diet is one of them. Take a moment to learn what a fertility diet includes and excludes.
IVF after 40 years old

Trying To Get Pregnant After 40 Years Old

For women trying to get pregnant after 40, CHR believes in an urgent and individualized treatment approach. Time is a very important factor with DOR, and the sooner treatment can be started, the higher a woman's pregnancy chances.