Surrogacy pregnancies occur through a procedure called in vitro fertilization. In third-party reproduction, a surrogate prepares for an embryo transfer by certain hormonal medications.
Here are some of the common medications surrogates need.
Why Does a Surrogate Need Medication?
Women who become gestational surrogates are not biologically related to the baby they are carrying for their intending parents. The eggs used are either from the intending mother or an egg donor.
After the embryo fertilization takes place at a clinical laboratory, the surrogates undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Because this is not a natural pregnancy, a surrogate’s uterus needs specific preparations to accept the embryo through a series of medications – many of these are hormonally-based.
When Do the Medications Start?
Following an intending parent match, a woman will begin her medications. This will start a few weeks before the scheduled transfer. Even though IVF is a standard procedure, every fertility specialist and clinic will have their medical protocol for each surrogate.
The medications are administered in the following ways:
- Intramuscular Injections
Women must follow their medication schedule and cannot miss a dose. It’s a commitment and an important one at that. Not following the plan could seriously risk a successful transfer.
Remember, many of these intending parents waited years to have their baby. They invested time, emotion, and money.
The Goal of Regular Screening
In addition to medical pre-screening to become a surrogate, a woman undergoing these medications to prepare for a transfer may have more screening visits. The IVF clinic or local clinic that is in communications with the IVF clinic monitors her progress. These appointments can include a blood draw or ultrasound to check her uterine lining.
These visits help ensure that a woman is responding well to her medications for a positive transfer outcome.
What Exactly Are These Medications That Surrogates Need?
As mentioned before, the medications can vary slightly depending on the clinic and fertility doctor. The most common medications and supplements surrogates need are the following:
- Baby Aspirin
- Pre-Natal Vitamins and Folic Acid
When Do These Medications End?
After pregnancy is confirmed, the fertility specialist may have the surrogate continue with her estrogen and progesterone for several more weeks. At this point, the pregnancy will start to produce its own hormones, and the gestational carrier can wean herself off the medications per her doctor’s orders.
Is A Surrogacy Pregnancy Different From A Natural Pregnancy?
Not really. Surrogate candidates already have children of their own. Surrogacy agencies only accept applicants that have had easy pregnancies and deliveries without any complications.
Whatever common side effects she had with her own children while pregnant, she will likely experience as a surrogate particularly in the first trimester.