Once the surrogate and intended mother or egg donor all have their cycles coordinated together, the injectable medication will be administered for endometrial stimulation. Some surrogates have complaints of hot flushes, moodiness and headaches.
Estradiol / Estrogen is a medication that is used to thicken the endometrial lining to prepare for the implantation process. This medication begins approximately two weeks prior to embryo transfer and is continued for approximately 10 weeks after embryo transfer depending on the clinic’s protocol. This hormone can be taken in a number of forms: oral tablets; injection, or; adhesive patch; but most IVF clinics use the injection form. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, weight gain and headaches. Each surrogate will receive further instructions on how to administer these injections by the clinic.
During the endometrial stimulation phase surrogates will be required to have a blood test and ultrasound performed on day seven or as directed by the clinic.
Some clinics will require the surrogate to have their day seven ultrasound at their clinic only. Other clinics allow the surrogate to remain in their home area until the day of embryo transfer. Until a clinic is chosen, the surrogate will not know the exact protocols she will be asked to follow, but she will be informed as quickly as possible.
The blood tests and ultrasounds will help the clinic determine the thickness of the surrogate’s endometrial lining. Once the endometrial lining is at the appropriate thickness and the intended parent or egg donor are ready to have the egg retrieval, the surrogate will be required to start some form of Progesterone to assist with and sustain implantation and pregnancy.
Progesterone is a hormone women normally produce in our ovaries, but in a surrogacy the addition of supplemental Progesterone is essential to “warm up” the uterus until the body produces this hormone on its own. The form of Progesterone may be in an oil-based, intramuscular injection form or vaginal suppository per the clinic’s orders.
This medication begins approximately one week prior to the embryo transfer and is continued for approximately ten weeks after embryo transfer. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, fatigue, breast tenderness and mild uterine cramping, like being “super pregnant”.
All these medications are extremely important and MUST be taken as instructed by the clinic, or otherwise there is a risk of comprising the IVF cycle, having a miscarriage and being in breach of contract.
Please remember, each clinic varies slightly in their protocol.
THERE ARE POTENTIAL RISKS INHERENT WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THE SURROGACY MEDICAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURES, INCLUDING TAKING ANY MEDICATION. IT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SURROGATE TO INVESTIGATE ALL SUCH RISKS AND TO DISCUSS ALL MEDICAL ISSUES WITH THE PRIMARY PHYSICIAN