Navigating Intimacy During the Egg Donation Process
One of the most common questions we get from our egg donor applicants is: can egg donors have sex? This is a totally understandable question! Becoming an egg donor means agreeing to certain lifestyle changes during the donation cycle, and having sex is definitely related. Read on to find out how sexual activity affects being an egg donor.
Physical Effects Of the Egg Donation Process
Before we go into how sex can impact egg donors, it’s important to understand how the egg donation process affects your body. Before the egg retrieval procedure, you’ll take medications to increase your egg production. This means two things:
- You are extra fertile (meaning you have a much higher chance of becoming pregnant)
- Your ovaries become enlarged, or much bigger than normal
Because of these effects, having sexual intercourse during an egg donor cycle is very risky.
Can Egg Donors Have Sex? Risks of Having Sex While Donating Eggs
The three major risks of having sex as an egg donor are:
- Ovarian Torsion
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or other infectious diseases
The chance of becoming pregnant while on egg donation medications–and of experiencing a multiple pregnancy like twins or triplets–is extremely high. The hormone treatments boost ovulation, which boosts your overall fertility. This means that contraception and birth control methods are more likely to fail – plus, as an egg donor you will not be able to use hormonal contraception like the Pill or an IUD. For this reason alone, medical professionals recommend that egg donors abstain from sexual intercourse during their donation cycle. Getting pregnant automatically ends the cycle, and you may be required to refund any medical or travel expenses that have been covered up to that point – not to mention all the personal considerations of an unplanned pregnancy.
There’s also a risk that you could injure yourself. As your ovaries get bigger during the donation cycle, activities that involve bouncing or jumping (including running or mountain biking) can lead to a serious medical condition called ovarian torsion, where the ovary gets twisted around. Sexual intercourse can cause this as well.
Finally, having sex increases your chance of contracting an STI or other infectious disease, which interrupts the egg donation process and affects your health. For all these reasons, most egg donor agencies (including Eggceptional Fertility) require that their donors abstain from intercourse during the donation cycle.
How Do I Talk To My Partner About Sex and Egg Donation?
Now that you know you shouldn’t have sexual intercourse while donating eggs, you may be wondering how to discuss this with your partner. Here are some tips for having an honest and productive conversation with your partner:
- Share why donating your eggs is important to you: if your partner understands what it means to donate your eggs to a couple trying to grow their family, they will probably be more supportive of the lifestyle changes you need to make during the donation process, including not having intercourse.
- Explain the risks: you partner should recognize that having sex while donating eggs carries real risks of pregnancy or injury for you.
- Know it’s not for forever: In general, doctors recommend avoiding having sex from when you start your hormone treatment to about three weeks the egg retrieval–only about 5-6 weeks in total.
- Explore alternate forms of intimacy: just because you can’t have intercourse doesn’t mean you have to stay six feet away from your partner at all times! Just make sure you are avoiding any activities that could get you pregnant, transmit disease, or cause too much bouncing movement. Ask your doctor about safe alternatives to intercourse during your egg donation cycle.
Become an Egg Donor With Eggceptional Fertility Group
Becoming an egg donor does require some temporary lifestyle changes, but the results are more than worth it. As an egg donor, you can’t have sex during your donation cycle, but at the end you will have helped intended parents achieve their dreams of starting or growing their family. If you have any more questions or concerns, we’re here to help! Contact us today to discuss the requirements and benefits of becoming an egg donor.