Surrogate Medications

Whether you’re considering becoming a Gestational Carrier or you just passed your medical screening, you’re most likely well informed that a critical part of the process is taking medication. Having a baby through the use of a surrogate requires medication to mimic the hormones created during a natural pregnancy and then maintain the pregnancy. Each gestational carrier will have an individualized plan that is created by the IVF clinic. Different clinics will use different medications and in different combinations, therefore it is important that you understand the purpose of each of the prescribed medications and when you should take them.

The following is a list of possible medications you may take during the process. 

  • Birth control pills will be prescribed to regulate the timing of your menses to more easily predict the start time of your cycle. It will control the menstrual cycle which makes it easier to synchronize your cycle with the transfer date.  They are sometimes taken up to two months prior to the transfer and they are stopped a few weeks before. 

  • Lupron is used to prevent premature ovulation during the ovulation stimulation process. It temporarily shuts down the ovaries. It is administered using a needle for around a month. 

  • Estrogen is used to prepare the uterus lining for embryo transfer. Almost all surrogates will take estrogen throughout their journey.  It helps to grow the lining of the uterus and will most likely be taken up to the 12th  week of pregnancy. It can be taken in many forms: pills, suppositories, patches or injections.

  • Progesterone is known as the pregnancy hormone. It is necessary for the preparation of the uterus lining and during the early stages of pregnancy. It can be administered in various forms but the most common is through intramuscular injections and/or vaginal suppositories. These injections/suppositories will begin around day 15 of your ivf cycle protocol and continue until the 12th week of pregnancy.

  • Antibiotics such as doxycycline and cipro are used as a preventative measure to prevent infection and help with the implantation of the embryo. It is typically taken 5 days before the embryo transfer. 

  • Steroids such as medrol are taken around the time of the embryo transfer as well. They are meant to mildly suppress the immune system to prevent the rejection of the embryo transfer. 

  • Aspirin can be taken in low doses to assist with stimulation and increase implantation rates. Similar to many of the medications above, a clinic may or may not have aspirin as part of their protocol.

  • Prenatal vitamins are essential to any pregnancy, whether it be IVF or conceived naturally. They are typically taken before transfer and continue throughout the duration of your entire pregnancy. 

Intramuscular injections can be intimidating for many Gestational Carriers. The good news is that once you begin them, you will quickly develop a routine that works for you. We have some helpful tips to make your experience with intramuscular injections as smooth as possible. 

  • Administer the same time everyday for consistency and routine (your clinic may prescribe a time to you, others may provide you with a timeframe). 

  • Make sure you are injecting in the correct injection site (upper outer quadrant of the buttocks). Injecting too high or too low can cause bruising and knots to develop prematurely. 

  • Rotate sides during each injection. This will give the opposite side a break each day.

  • Do NOT put your weight on the side you’re injecting into. You should have a relaxed muscle for injection. . 

  • Slightly warm your PIO once it is in the syringe. This can be accomplished with body heat by holding the syringe in your hands for 1-2 to minutes prior to injecting. 

  •  Gently massage the area after injecting the medication. You can do this with your hands or a handheld massager/roller. 

  • Some women find that using a heating pad for a few minutes after injecting helps prevent knots from forming. 

The medications prescribed during an IVF cycle can seem overwhelming at times. Take a deep breath, you totally got this!  Our team of experienced Gestational Carriers will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with your medication protocol. We will review your calendar with you and answer any questions you have. We will also work with you to make sure you have all of the medications and supplies you need to stay on schedule. We want your IVF experience to be a positive one, and we will support you in any way we can to reach that goal. 

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