Because surrogacy is a very intentional and planned out process, the preparation for a surrogate pregnancy will look a little different than your previous traditional pregnancies. Part of this preparation involves taking fertility medications to prepare your body for the surrogacy medical process.
Having an understanding of the surrogacy medication timeline will help you know what to expect, giving you more confidence in the journey ahead.
We will guide you through the medication timeline for surrogates and how to best prepare. If you have questions about medications involved in the surrogacy process, contact a surrogacy specialist today.
What is the Surrogate Medication Timeline?
Step 1: Birth Control Pills
While this may seem like medication you shouldn’t be going on to become pregnant, it is actually helpful to the surrogacy process. The fertility clinic needs to be fully aware of your cycle, and using birth control pills can help regulate this. They will tell you when to start the medication and when to stop to be fully effective.
Possible Side effects: Bloating, headaches, mood changes, acne, weight gain
Step 2: Lupron
This will likely go hand-in-hand with the birth control pills. Lupron helps regulate your cycle and prevents premature ovulation. While most surrogates say the injection isn’t particularly painful, this medication did give them the hot flashes and headaches.
Administration: Self-administered shot with ½ inch needle
Possible Side effects: Headache, fatigue, hot flashes
Step 3: Estrogen
This will be added after medications from steps 1 and 2 have progressed. Estrogen can be taken as a pill, patch, or given via injections. The timing and dose will be determined by the fertility clinic. After taking the medications from Steps 1-3, the fertility clinic will schedule a transvaginal ultrasound around the 22-day mark to determine if you will proceed to Step 4 or if you’ll need to spend more time on the medications.
Administration: Tablet, suppository, injection, or patch
Possible side effects: Possible side effects may depend on administration. Skin redness, irritation, nausea, fluid retention, bloating, breast tenderness.
Step 4: Progestogen
This step happens five days before the embryo transfer. These medications help prepare the uterine lining for implantation and increase the chances of a successful embryo transfer. Progestogen is given as an injection involving a larger needle and delivered intramuscularly.
Administration: Injection administered by a nurse or at home by a partner
Possible side effects: Bloating, irritability, tenderness at the site of injection, breast tenderness, vaginal discharge or dryness.
In addition to these medications that are administered on a specific surrogacy medication timeline, there are other medications that you may or may not take depending on the clinic you work with. These include:
Antibiotics: These can clear your body of any possible infections that could impact your fertility.
Aspirin: This can improve implantation rates and would be taken up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins: These are typically taken before and throughout your pregnancy.
Medrol: Medrol is a low-dose steroid that will be given in conjunction with the progestogen.
Keeping Track of Your Surrogate Medication Schedule
It’s integral to your fertility to track and be sure you are taking fertility medication as scheduled. There are a few ways you can help to remember to take the medications each day. These include:
Take your medications at the same time every day.
Set an alarm on your phone.
Include when you take your medication in your physical calendar.
Get a medication app that creates reminders for you.
Use a pill box with AM/PM boxes to help you stay organized.
Prepare for Surrogacy
We know the surrogate process is a physically and mentally challenging journey, but just know our surrogacy specialists are here to walk you through it. We have a team of people who are ready to support you through the process in any way we can. This includes assisting you through the surrogate medication schedule. Your surrogacy specialist can assist you in how to prepare and handle the side effects.