IVF and Nursing


Hi there,

Just wanted to see if anyone went through an IVF cycle while nursing. If so, please share your stories.

So here’s my story:

Before I left the States, I asked my RE when I should start IVF for baby #2. His response was after 6 months (for BF) and before 12 months. DH asked why before 12 months…and it was because of my age vs chance of success if I waited longer. I consider his rec to be more or less unmotivated by financial gain, since I would not be cycling with him.

Where I live, IVF is free. So cost is not an issue. I don’t want to wean DD (5 months), but do want to try for baby #2. So I’m torn. Based on my research, there seems to be a general “feeling” - which isn’t based on scientific data - that nursing MAY decrease my chance of getting a BFP. So the rec is to not nurse during IVF - why pay all that money and not give it your best shot is the general thinking. Well, I’m not paying out of pocket, so I’m ok if we give it a go and it doesn’t work out.

Anyways, just wanted to see if anyone out there nursed and cycled at the same time, and if so, what was that outcome.


I have not heard of anyone doing both. My concern would be the drugs. Here is a link to a new resource that answers your questions on breastfeeding and medications for free.

Opposing Views: New Hotline Tells Moms Which Meds are Safe for Breastfeeding


Amy - thanks for chiming in. And congrats!!! She’s beautiful!

I had looked into that. According to Dr. Hale (same source as the one your link mentions), there shouldn’t be a problem. Here’s the info from his site regarding IVF meds and nursing.

Dr. Hale’s Breastfeeding and Medications Forum

Apparently IVF meds are hormones that women naturally produces, so there’s very little risk to the breastfeeding baby. There may be a side effect to the [B]Lupron [/B]- decrease lactation - though this appears to be unconfirmed. Comments on the site indicate that milk actually increased for some women. Other than that, follicle stimulating hormone ([B]Follistim[/B]) is secreted every day by the pituary gland, so that isn’t harmful and the [B]HCG[/B] (trigger shot) is “unlikely to be transferred to milk at all due to its huge size and lack of transport facility”, according to Dr. Hale.

So no worries there.



I spoke to my RE about a similar issue when DD was about 6 1/2 mos old - she was still nursing at night and on weekends and I was pumping 3x/day at work. The only difference is that we were looking to do an FET. He agreed that there really isn’t any data out there on how the chances of IVF (FET) success are affected by breastfeeding. But he did say is was pretty standard to wait until 3-6 months after stopping lactation to do an FET (and I would presume, an IVF). I had gotten my period, regularly, starting when DD was 3-4 mos old, so I think I was ovulating. My understanding was that the wait was more to avoid the lactation hormones from affecting the success of IVF/FET, interfering with the supplemental hormones given. I guess if you don’t have to pay for IVF you don’thave to worry about the financial aspect, but it’s still a lot to put your body through not to do everything you can to up your chances.

BTW, my DD must have intuied my conversation with the RE because she refused to nurse any more about 2 weeks later. Sad for me but glad she didn’t have to go through a forced wean!

Good luck! Heather


Thanks Heather! I dropped by the Jan '11 IVF group and was about to post, but then decided to wait until after my first consult appt. If I end up stimming in Jan '11, we’ll meet up again! :babydust: to you!!!

AF hasn’t come for me, and I have a sneaking suspicion she won’t come as long as I BF, which isn’t surprising considering that I didn’t ovulate regularly before. Besides not ovulating regularly, I also have Stage IV endometriosis, as well as endometriomas (chocolate cysts), fibroids, and high FSH. I was also hypothyroid, but that’s fixed now. With the multiple dx, I doubt I’m going to be one of those lucky women who’ll get pregnant naturally after IVF. But we could always hope and pray.

Sometimes I feel so torn between my desire for more kids and my feeling that I should do what’s best for DD (which is to continue to BF). oiy! sigh