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Last Updated on: December 11, 2023

Your Guide to IVF Surrogacy Medications

The journey of surrogacy is incredible, and medication plays a starring role in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process that contribute to the grand success of your pregnancy, so let’s make sure you’re in the know about the best way to take them — because your health and happiness matter every step of the way.

Remember: your well-being takes center stage. We believe in giving you the power of knowledge to make informed decisions that align with your health goals and values. Because, after all, this journey is about weaving a beautiful story that is anchored in your well-being every step of the way, culminating in the profound joy and health of both you and the precious new life you’ve so generously helped bring into the world.

What is the Role of IVF Medications in Your Surrogacy Journey

The surrogate is the true hero in the surrogacy adventure, showcasing resilience and courage at every turn. In this journey, medication serves a vital role — it’s an indispensable sidekick, ensuring that the embryo transfer and the pregnancy progress smoothly and successfully. These medications are skillfully used to trigger, sedate and replicate the natural reproductive processes of the body. It’s a team effort between the amazing medical professionals who craft your personalized medication plan, taking into account your unique biology. 

It’s all about ensuring the surrogate’s body is ready and excited to welcome that implanted embryo, setting the stage for a healthy pregnancy and the start of a truly extraordinary surrogacy journey!

What Types of IVF Medications Can I Take?

As a surrogate, you have access to numerous IVF medications, each designed to support a healthy and successful pregnancy. Your surrogacy journey features a treatment plan uniquely tailored by your doctor, adjusting medication types and dosages based on your body’s specific responses to ensure your well-being throughout the experience. Here are two key medications commonly prescribed to surrogates:

  • Progesterone

Progesterone is vital for preparing the uterine lining for embryo implantation. Mimicking the body’s natural response after egg fertilization, progesterone is administered starting 5 days before the embryo transfer and continues for about 8 – 10 weeks following a successful transfer, typically through injections or vaginal suppositories. 

  • Estradiol

Estradiol, a form of estrogen used in IVF, plays a crucial role in creating a favorable uterine environment for embryo implantation. It thickens and prepares the uterine lining, ensuring it is receptive for the embryo. Just like the body’s natural production of estrogen during ovulation, estradiol is administered to the surrogate for about 2 to 4 weeks before the transfer and continues for 8 to 10 weeks after a successful transfer, effectively simulating the female reproductive cycle.

Doctor shows touchpad to pregnant patient.

How Can I Ensure My Safety Throughout the IVF Surrogacy Process?

Your safety and well-being are paramount throughout the IVF surrogacy process. Here’s how you can actively participate in safeguarding your health:

Informed Decision-Making: Understanding the role of each IVF medication and its importance in your journey is crucial. Your medical team will guide you, offering expertise and personalized advice tailored to your biological needs and health profile.

Collaborate with Medical Experts: Your journey is a partnership with healthcare professionals. They bring specialized expertise to craft a medication plan that’s just right for you, considering your individual hormonal responses and reproductive health. This bespoke approach not only enhances success rates but also prioritizes your health and safety.

Adherence to Prescriptions: The success and safety of your surrogacy journey largely depend on following the prescribed medication dosages and schedules. Each medication plays a specific and timely role in the fertility process. Adhering to your medical plan is vital, as any deviation can significantly impact the outcome.

Regular Monitoring and Communication: Stay in close contact with your medical team. Regular monitoring allows for the timely identification and management of any potential side effects or complications. Your feedback and experiences during the process are invaluable for ensuring a safe and successful journey.

Risks and Side Effects of IVF Surrogacy Medications

We understand that considering the potential risks and side effects of IVF medications can be a bit daunting as you embark on your surrogacy journey. It’s natural to have concerns, and we’re here to guide you through them.

Common Side Effects: Most surrogates experience mild and temporary side effects, which may include:

  • Bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Discomfort at the injection site

These typically lessen as your body adjusts to the medications.

Rare, Serious Side Effects: While less common, it’s essential to be aware of more significant potential side effects:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

Staying vigilant and communicating any unusual symptoms to your medical team promptly is key. This allows for swift action to manage any side effects, ensuring your journey is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Nurturing Yourself During the IVF Surrogacy Medication Period

As you embark on this generous journey of carrying a child, taking care of yourself becomes more important than ever. During this time when you’re using IVF medication, remember that self-care is not just a luxury but a necessity. Here are some personal tips to help you nurture your body and soul:

Eat Well: Embrace a diet rich in nutrients. It’s not just about eating; it’s about nourishing both you and the precious life you’re supporting.

Stay Hydrated: Keep a bottle of water close by. Hydration is your ally, helping your body respond better to the medications and keeping you refreshed.

Rest Adequately: Listen to your body. Rest isn’t just sleep; it’s a time for your body to recharge and rejuvenate. Remember, it’s okay to take a break.

Gentle Exercise: Find joy in movement. Whether it’s a peaceful walk or a relaxing yoga session, these activities are not just good for your body, but they also help to ease your mind.

Practice Mindfulness: In the midst of this journey, moments of stillness can be powerful. Deep breathing, meditation, or simply sitting quietly can help you navigate the emotional waves of the surrogacy experience.

Common Misconceptions About IVF Surrogacy Medications

Understanding the truth about IVF medications is key to a well-informed surrogacy journey. With evidence-based information at your disposal, you can make decisions that are best for you. Let’s tackle and clear up some of the most common misconceptions about IVF surrogacy medications:

  • Myth #1: “IVF meds are a long-term health risk.” Not exactly. Think of these meds as being under a fertility expert’s watchful eye. They’re prescribed and monitored to really minimize any not-so-great effects on your health.
  • Myth #2: “IVF equals automatic multiple pregnancies.” Not anymore! Fertility medicine has gotten so advanced that doctors can be super precise about how many embryos they’re putting in. This means the chances of having multiples aren’t as high as you might think.
  • Myth #3: “Every surrogate gets the same IVF meds.” It’s actually more personalized than that. The type of medication you’ll get depends on your own health and fertility background. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.

For more insights on IVF, explore The American Society for Reproductive Medicine for reliable information and answers to your questions.

Pregnant woman sitting on the floor in a yoga position.

Navigating Your Emotions During the IVF Surrogacy Journey

Embarking on a surrogacy journey, especially during the IVF medication phase, can be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s completely normal to feel a whirlwind of emotions. From the highs of carrying a child for someone else to the lows of hormonal mood swings, it’s a path filled with deep feelings.

You might find yourself dealing with stress, anxiety or even moments of doubt. Remember, it’s okay to feel this way. What’s important is how you handle these emotions. Keeping in touch with your support circle —the intended parents, your healthcare team, friends and family — can be a huge help. They’re your sounding board, your comfort zone.

You can also consider joining a surrogate support group or seeking counseling. Sharing your journey with others who understand can be incredibly comforting and validating. And don’t forget about self-care tools like meditation or journaling. These practices can be powerful in managing your emotions, helping you maintain a balanced and positive mindset throughout your amazing journey.

Partnering with Your Medical Team

As a surrogate, your open dialogue with medical professionals is vital for a positive IVF experience. Remember, you’re an active participant in your health journey. Feel empowered to ask questions, share concerns and seek clarity. This collaboration helps tailor your care plan to your unique needs, ensuring a safer and more personalized surrogacy experience.

Ready to Embark on a Life-Changing Journey?

Having delved into the world of IVF surrogacy medications, you’re now equipped with valuable insights into this remarkable process. If you’re feeling inspired to play a pivotal role in creating new families, consider becoming a Joy of Life surrogate. 

As part of our team, your well-being is our priority, guiding you through a fulfilling journey of bringing joy and hope to others. Discover the rewarding experience of being a Joy of Life surrogate and start your extraordinary journey with us by applying to become a surrogate today.

Joy Millan

Author Joy Millan

I’m Joy, the founder and CEO of Joy of Life. With a professional background as a fertility clinician, I’ve spent thousands of hours working with surrogates and intended parents alike. As a mother of two, I often wished for more support and a deeper commitment to care for those embarking on non-traditional family-building journeys. This is why I established Joy of Life: to create a more robust, compassionate experience in parenthood for both parties involved with surrogacy. In 2021, I stepped back from daily operations at Joy of Life to fight cancer. Fortunately, the combined 20 years of experience from our incredible team has allowed me to focus on my health & recovery. I continue to provide company guidance and serve as the head liaison for our network of doctors, clinicians and caregivers.

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