When you consider becoming a surrogate, you likely have questions about what goes into the surrogacy medical process. Gestational surrogacy is a common way of becoming pregnant and one of the important aspects of that process is the surrogate medications you’re required to take.
Whether you’re thinking about beginning your journey as a gestational surrogate or exploring options for surrogacy without medications, understanding the various medications, timelines and potential side effects can help you prepare for what to expect.
If you want to learn more about the steps in the surrogacy medical process, check out this article.
What Medications Does a Surrogate Take?
Gestational surrogacy, the most common form of surrogacy, involves the use of medications to prepare your uterus for embryo implantation. These medications typically include:
- Oral Contraceptives – Often the first step, oral contraceptives are used to synchronize the menstrual cycles of the surrogate and the intended mother or egg donor.
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormones – These hormones stimulate the development of multiple eggs in your ovaries.
- Lupron- This surrogacy medication prevents your natural cycle from interfering with the surrogacy process by limiting the secretion of hormones that control your cycle.
- Progesterone – Administered through injections, vaginal suppositories, or gels, progesterone supports the development of the uterine lining, preparing it for embryo implantation and supporting early pregnancy.
- Estrogen – a vital hormone for uterine lining development is often administered as a surrogate medication to support the preparation of the uterus for embryo implantation during the gestational surrogacy process.
Surrogate Medications Timeline
The surrogate medications timeline can vary depending on individual circumstances and the specific IVF protocol used. However, a general timeline for the administration of these medications typically follows this pattern:
- Preliminary Screening and Evaluation: Before starting any surrogate medications, both you and the intended parents will undergo comprehensive medical and psychological screenings.
- Synchronization of Cycles: You and the intended mother or egg donor may start with oral contraceptives to synchronize your menstrual cycles.
- Ovarian Stimulation: Injections are administered to stimulate the development of multiple eggs.
- Egg Maturation and Retrieval: Following the administration of injections, the eggs are matured and subsequently retrieved from your ovaries.
- Embryo Transfer Preparation: Progesterone supplementation begins to prepare your uterus for embryo transfer.
- Embryo Transfer and Post-Transfer Care: After the embryo transfer, progesterone supplementation continues for about 10-12 weeks to support the early stages of pregnancy.
Potential Side Effects of Surrogacy Medications
While surrogacy medications are generally well-tolerated, they can potentially lead to certain side effects, including:
- Mood Swings and Emotional Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during the treatment can affect the surrogate’s mood and emotional well-being.
- Physical Discomfort: Side effects such as bloating, abdominal discomfort and breast tenderness may occur due to ovarian stimulation medications.
- Injection Site Reactions: Progesterone injections may lead to localized reactions at the injection site, including pain, redness, and swelling.
The side effects of surrogate medications can vary from person to person. Communicating with your healthcare provider can help manage these side effects effectively.
Understanding the surrogate medications, the associated timelines and potential side effects can help you understand what to expect throughout the medical process. With proper guidance and support your surrogacy journey can be a positive, fulfilling experience.
Contact us online now to see if you qualify to become a surrogate.