Medication Calendar & Risks Involved
Surrogacy is an amazing thing and brings joy to parents and surrogates alike. While we are beyond blessed that so many medical advancements have been made to make surrogacy possible, it doesn’t come without risk. Pregnancy, whether with your own baby or with a surro-baby, comes with risks: anemia, blood clots, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, severe morning sickness (hyperemesis) and loss of fertility are just a few.
Even with the risks known, there are so many women who feel their hearts called to carry for another person or family and because of them, new families are born everyday! Now on to some of those difficulties and obstacles! First off, the kinds of medications you might be taking as a surrogate, preparing your body for embryo transfer and pregnancy [Every clinic is different and dictates their own medication protocol, so yours may vary wildly].
Before Embryo Transfer:
Birth Control Pills: before transfer to regulate your cycle
Lupron – shot (small needle): for 3 – 4 weeks daily before transfer to suppress your cycle
Before and After Embryo Transfer: You can be taking these medications multiple times a day and more than one at a time, depending on the calendar you’re given by the fertility clinic. These medications may start 3 or 4 weeks before embryo transfer, and can continue through the first 10 – 12 weeks after transfer (and sometimes through the whole pregnancy):
Estriadol patches (estrogen)
Oral Tablets (estrogen)
Vaginal creams and suppositories (estrogen and progesterone)
Steroids and/or antibiotics
From start of medications through pregnancy:
Range of prenatal, DHA, and folic acid
The medications can cause reactions. These reactions are mostly just an inconvenience, but can be surprising for first time surrogates. Some reactions to the fertility drugs include:
Mild bruising and soreness at injection site
Nausea and, occasionally, vomiting
Temporary allergic reactions, such as skin reddening and/or itching at the injection site
As for the pregnancy itself, a surrogacy pregnancy comes with the same risks as your own pregnancies. There are a couple of risks separate that come with the embryo transfer process, IVF produced embryos, and medication, like the following:
Increased incidence of multiple births
Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome
Cramping during catheter insertion for embryo transfer
Cysts on ovaries
Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Everyone’s body is unique and reactions to medications can vary. Additionally, the health of the embryo along with many other factors will play part in the success of a transfer. The risk are real and may look a bit intimidating, but they are relatively low. End result of it all? A new family meeting their beautiful baby and living their dream.