Can Birth Control Pills oversuppress ovaries, lowering follies


I have heard so many different stories and can’t seem to get a clear idea…

I was always a good responder on low doses of Gonal F for IUIs…I always had 5-7 follies…I had IVF this month…large doses of Gonal F and I only had 7 follies…

I was on BCPs for 2 months before my IVF cycle…Is it possible that the BCPs oversuppressed my ovaries, causing me to not have many antral follies?

Should I ask to not be on BCP before my next IVF stim cycle in Jan?..

I am so confused…


I haven’t done IVF yet. I’ll have my first one in January.

My RE had decided go for short protocol for me in November, considering that long protocol involves BCPs which could oversuppress the ovaries.

But then last week she found a cyst in the right ovary. So my cycle was cancelled. So now I’ll be going for the long protocol. I’ll be starting BCPs this week. I am also worried about my ovaries getting over-suppressed, but better than the short protocol where I had to cancel the whole cycle.

So I guess it varies from case to case, depends on how your body reacts. Both the protocols (with and without BCPs) have their pluses anad minuses. I guess RE would be the best person to decide, considering all the factors like age, history etc.

Good luck to you :babydust:


Sibling - Yes, the ovaries can be oversuppressed. My doc for my next cycle did not put me on BCPs. He asked me to start my FSH right on from day 2.


Yes…many of us do not take BCP’s at all. Two months on BCP’s is a long time. I started with Lurpon in the cycle before this but no BCP’s. One other thing to look at is LH in the follicular phase when it comes to us older ladies. My clinic does not believe in Lupron in the follicular phase until the very end and recommend an antagonist protocol. What protocol were you on? I think that Micro-dose Lupron or antagonist protocols seem to work best for AMA ladies.


2 months on bcp at our age seems like a long time to me…i did 2 weeks of bcp and microdose lupron then high dose of gonal f…had 10 mature eggs at retrieval (my fsh was high too, 14.5) i would definitely talk about the lupron protocol and bcp issue at your next appt, good luck!!!


Thanks ladies for your input…it certainly helps me see the effects of BCP…

I was on the antagonist protocol…BCP, then Gonal F, low dose HCG, then Ganirelix and HCG trigger…

my antral follie count last time was 3 follies…I had 10 follies in the end, but only 7 follies looked good enough to retrieve at ER time…so, I had 6 fertilize and only 2 made it to the blas stage…

How do BCP affect ovaries?..why use them?..any ideas?


yes 2 months seem too much, my RE gives BCPs for 21 days.

As far as I know BCPs are given to regulate your cycles, to prevent cysts and for properly scheduling your IVF cycle. It’s like you need to start with a clean slate.


yes, it happened to me on cycle#1


I am now worried to take the BCP…they want me to start them now…well, his nurse called and said to start them…shohuld I ask the RE about not taking them?



My RE prefers BCP before to start any protocol. Last cycle I was on micro dosage lupron protocol. She had me on BCP for 2 weeks before we start. The cycle was cancelled due to poor response. My RE thinks it might be lupron suppress too much. Therefore, this cycle we switch to antagonist and also start with 2 weeks BCP. To our surprise, the BCP did not suppress me enough, I have a follicle (cyst) developing through those 2 weeks and ready to ovulate by the time we done BCP. After ovulating that follicle/cyst, RE put me on estrogen pill instead. She said there are 2 ways they usually use to quiet the ovary. One is BCP and the other is estrogen pill/patch. The way BCP works is faking the hormone level in the body so that ovary will be quiet and no producing any hormone.


Beishan - What will estrogen do to quiet the ovaries?..I wonder if this is an option…

Before I started IF treatment I never had a cyst that I knew of…but after taking the larger dosage of Clomid for my CCCT test…I developed a cyst in Mar 2010 that was 7.5cm…I had to have it aspirated, then in May 2010, I had another 7.5cm cyst on the same ovary…that one was aspirated too…concurrently, during the two large cyst stage, I had several smaller ones that did respond to the BCP they put me on to try and keep the larger one away…unfortunately, they didn’t keep the larger one away…LOL

so, as a result, I am worried, that if I don’t quiet my ovaries…I might end up with a cyst…but, if I use BCP I might suppress them too much…I wonder how estrogen will affect you?

Please let me know…

Best of luck to you…