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High heat damaging to eggs?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello, I failed to turn any helpful information up after a bit of searching online and am hoping that someone here might know... is there any evidence that would suggest high heat to be damaging to eggs? Almost every month for the past couple years I spend 2-3 days with a heating pad on my lower abdomen to help with the cramps. It always leaves red blotching that can last up to a week, but two months ago it was so hot it burned my skin more then it usually does and I now have permanent discoloration. All that to say- im not talking about some radiant laptop heat -this is very high heat, for sometimes 48-72 hours at a time. 


All I can turn up is that there's debate over saunas, hot tubs etc due to the increase in overall body temperature and the effect on a developing baby- (and of course all the tons of information about heat/sperm). But there's nothing about heat effecting female fertility and I can't bring myself to ditch the heating pad without any evidence that I'm not just being crazy... : (

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well, the official word from my OBGYN is that the heat, even at that high temperature and length of time, will not damage my eggs because the ovaries sit so deep in the abdominal cavity that they're protected by the body's normal thermoregulatory mechanisms. I asked why heat (saunas, hot tubs etc) is a concern when pregnant then (early on the fetus would be protected just as the ovaries/eggs)- and will now have to wait for another call-back from the nurse.

post #3 of 7

Thanks for updating the thread, I was curious when you posted but didn't know the answer.

post #4 of 7

My RE says not to take hot showers or use a heating pad anywhere while doing IVF, because it can harm the eggs. I suppose it would be no different than with a regular cycle.

post #5 of 7

I don't know the answer but I would hazard a guess that extremes of anything would be bad and considering the heat is so high that you're effectively burning yourself, I would guess that it's too much. Could you try to turn the heat down a little? Perhaps you don't have to forgo the heating pad completely but maybe you can find a more acceptable temperature?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well I never heard back from my OBGYN, but I don't think she would have any more to say then what you've all shared : ) You're definitely right, I shouldn't be using the high heat if I'm burning my skin, I just hate the aching! But ever since my extreme heating pad got staple-gunned to the inside of the chicken coop for the winter, I'm stuck with a not-so-powerful heating pad that shuts off after only 30 minutes thus effectively preventing me from overusing the heat.


I think also it might have been telling if I took my temperature before using the pad and then compared it to my body temperature whilst using it- to determine if I was actually raising it- but I would have to guess that I was, due to the sweating and damage to my skin etc. I always figured a little discoloration was preferable to taking motrin or tylenol, but not if there's a chance I'm making things more difficult in the long run.


rcr- thank you so much for that information, did she say how or why?

post #7 of 7

I think she said that raising your core body temp. would be damaging to the eggs, so my guess is that it is not an issue of just that it is over your uterus, it would be no different than sitting in a hot tub, y/k. I am no Dr. - that's just my assumption. She did mention that having a fever can be damaging to eggs to - so I think it is more about body temp. rather than the amount of heat you have on a certain part of the body. We (DH and I) were on antibiotics during IVF, to make sure we didn't get sick and get a fever. I guess that is the same reasoning.



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