Gestational Surrogacy Medications
Unlike getting pregnant through the natural process, having a baby through surrogacy requires the intake of certain medications. In natural surrogacy, the body produces different hormones to prepare the uterus for conception, hold the embryo, and help it grow and develop during the nine months of pregnancy. In surrogacy, this entire process needs to be recreated using supplemental hormones and similar medications.
Each surrogate has prescribed a list of surrogate medications specific to her body. The medications are based on the test results of the medical screening of the surrogate at the fertility clinic.
Throughout the surrogacy experience, you are recommended to take medicines that help your body prepare for the embryo transfer at the right time. This is an important prerequisite for a successful surrogate pregnancy.
The exact course of the medications you need to take depends on various factors such as your body’s individual needs. We have shared a list of common surrogate medications recommended by most of the surrogacy agencies as you read. Remember that it is for reference purposes only; you should talk to your doctor before taking any surrogate medications.
Why is there a need to take Surrogate Medications?
Surrogate pregnancies happen through a medical procedure called the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Under this, the embryo is created in a lab environment using the donor egg intended mother’s egg and sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor. This embryo is then placed in the uterus of the surrogate mother.
Because this is not a natural pregnancy, the surrogate mother’s uterus needs to be prepared to receive the embryo through various medications. Most of the medications are hormonally based.
The medications start once you are matched with an intended parent – normally a few weeks before the scheduled embryo transfer. Even though IVF is a standard procedure, every fertility clinic can follow a specific set of medical protocols.
The medicines are administered in the following ways:
• Intramuscular injections
As a surrogate, you must stick to the medication schedule and never miss a dose.
Let’s look at the common surrogate medications.
It is an antibiotic that helps fight bacteria in the body. The fertility clinic can prescribe this medicine to both you and your partner. It is given early in the surrogacy journey to treat any pelvic infection that may exist. It also prepares your body for a safe and healthy surrogacy cycle. It also acts as an anti-rejection medicine to ensure that your body doesn’t reject the embryo when implanted. It is taken as an oral tablet with negligible side-effects.
Lupron is a self-administered medicine that can be taken through injection using a ½ inch needle. It prevents your body’s natural cycle from interfering with the process of surrogacy. It inhibits the secretion of cycle controlling hormones. The result, it temporarily shuts down the ovaries to prevent ovulation. You can start its dosage 14 days after starting birth control.
Estrogen is a naturally produced hormone in the body that thickens the uterine lining to help hold an early pregnancy. As a surrogate, you may be prescribed to take Estrogen as an oral tablet, injection, suppository, or a patch. You will be advised to take it early in your cycle in the form of birth control pills. It is done to coordinate your cycle with the intended mother’s or donor’s cycle.
Progesterone hormone is produced by the ovaries after ovulation. Once the uterine lining has reached the ideal thickness, you will be advised to take progesterone replacements. This is done to further prepare the uterus for the implantation. The hormone signals the body to start producing the necessary nutrients to support the embryo. It may be taken through oral pills, suppositories, or intramuscular injections (recommended).
Aspirin can be taken as an oral tablet during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is done to assist with cycle stimulation. Aspirin can improve implantation rates and pregnancy in women in the case of IVF.
It is an antibiotic and is taken through an oral tablet. It is recommended a few days prior to the embryo transfer to treat and prevent any infection or rejection of the embryo.
It is a low-dose steroid that is taken as an oral tablet. It is given to suppress the autoimmune system and increase the chances of a successful embryo transfer.
• Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamin pills are recommended before the transfer and during the entire period of pregnancy. It is given to ensure that you and the baby are getting proper nutrients. It encourages the growth of a healthy baby.
The above surrogate medications are for reference purposes only. Every surrogate is different and thus they may not be prescribed the same dose of the same medicine during the surrogacy process.
You should get in touch with the surrogacy clinic to know more about surrogate medications.