Before you start your surrogacy journey, it’s a good idea to learn more about the medications you will need to take throughout the process. Surrogacy medications help to prepare your body for the pregnancy and make a successful pregnancy more likely. They’re just one part of keeping you and the baby healthy throughout the pregnancy. You should feel free to ask questions of your doctors about what you can expect at each stage, but here is some basic information that you can use to help guide your research and planning.
WHAT MEDICATIONS ARE USED FOR SURROGACY?
Let’s begin by discussing the medications you may take as a surrogate. Here is a list of the most common, with a brief explanation of what they do to support the process:
- Birth Control: Prevents unplanned pregnancy and allows your clinic to schedule the embryo transfer around your cycle.
- Lupron: Controls ovulation to ensure your egg is not used to conceive.
- Antibiotics: Prevents pelvic infection, which could complicate the embryo transfer.
- Low-dose Aspirin: Helps to increase circulation and improves the rate of implantation.
- Medrol or similar corticosteroid: Controls the autoimmune system to minimize rejection of the embryo.
- Estrogen: Thickens the uterine lining, helping to support an early pregnancy.
- Progesterone: Prepares the uterine lining for implantation and supports the pregnancy.
- Prenatal Vitamins: Helps provide the nutrients your body needs, in addition to the needs of the growing baby.
The actual medications and combination of medications you’ll take may vary somewhat from this list. If you have any questions about how or when to take them, ask your IVF doctor for more guidance according to their specific protocol and your unique situation.
IS THERE A MEDICATION SCHEDULE?
When you start to explore the process for becoming a surrogate, you may be wondering what a surrogate medication schedule may look like. Most surrogacy medications are taken for a short period, ranging from a few days or a week to a few months. A typical surrogacy medication calendar includes starting some medications a few weeks before the embryo transfer, then remaining on some medications through the end of the first trimester when the pregnancy is well established. You may take a few medications at the same time:
- Starting the Process (a few months before transfer): Birth control pills, Prenatal vitamins
- Preparing for Embryo Transfer: Lupron, Estrogen, Progesterone, Aspirin, Prenatal vitamins, Antibiotics, Medrol
- Maintaining Early Pregnancy: Aspirin, Estrogen, Progesterone, Prenatal vitamins
Your actual schedule will have much more detail. Some of these medications will be given during an appointment or in advance of other treatments. If you have to reschedule or cancel an appointment for any reason, you should ask how it affects the next steps of the process.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SURROGATE MEDICATIONS
As you research, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed by the medication schedule. In these moments, you may want to consider your doctor and fertility clinic staff as a valuable resource. Some of the medications come in different forms, such as a pill, patch, insert, lozenge, or injection, and you will likely be taking a combination of forms. When you talk about your medication schedule, feel free to ask about the administration, dosage, and timing of each one.
Surrogacy medications may have side effects, such as bloating, nausea, or site tenderness. If you feel like the side effects are causing significant problems for you, don’t hesitate to ask your IVF doctor for advice. It’s especially important not to discontinue medications without talking to your physician, and you should alert your doctor if you need to use any other medications.
At International Surrogacy Center, we have personal experience with the needs and questions you’re likely to have as a surrogate. Because more than half of our staff have been gestational carriers, our experience positions us to best accommodate you. We offer competitive surrogate bonuses, support groups, and more. To learn more about surrogacy rules by states or to talk about the process, contact us today!