A tampon

You asked:

If I freeze my eggs, will I stop getting my period?

Dr. Maslow says:

No, egg freezing will not stop your monthly period.

The egg freezing process takes about two weeks, beginning on the first day of your period (what we in the field call “Day 1”). For 8–11 days, you’ll take injectable hormone medication to prompt your ovaries to mature multiple eggs, instead of the one egg typically matured each menstrual cycle, and to get the timing of your ovulation just right.

Around day 12–14 (depending on your individual biology), you’ll have your egg retrieval, the brief outpatient procedure to remove the eggs from your ovaries and freeze them. Your period will typically return two weeks later, as it normally would, and won’t be affected long-term by the egg freezing process.

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The exception? If you’re undergoing egg freezing before a hysterectomy (surgery to remove your uterus) or endometrial ablation (treatment to destroy the endometrial lining of the uterus). Some women have these procedures due to cancer, endometriosis, or other illness, but freeze their eggs first to preserve the option to have genetic children later on through a surrogate. Because a monthly period is the shedding of the uterine lining, surgery to remove the uterus or the uterine lining will result in the menstrual period stopping altogether.

There are birth control options, such as the hormonal IUD, that can temporarily stop your period without affecting long-term fertility. (Getting your period isn’t medically necessary.) But if you’re experiencing especially heavy bleeding, or significant pain, during that time of the month, we recommend you share your concerns with your OB/GYN—heavy, painful periods are one of the primary symptoms of endometriosis and other reproductive illnesses.

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