A Comprehensive Guide on IVF Medications: What You Will Take as a Surrogate – Made in the USA Surrogacy in Roseville, CA
As a surrogate, one of the first parts of the physical process of surrogacy is fertility drugs. This is to help prepare you for the embryo transfer. It’s taken while the intended parents are taking drugs for IVF and the egg retrieval process. There are many fertility drugs out there. A fertility doctor will look at your medical records, do a few tests, and determine which one you should start with. You may be moved to another drug if the current one doesn’t work.
Fertility drugs can be confusing. This article will go over some of the most popular fertility drugs that may be prescribed for you by a fertility doctor.
#1 – Lupron
One of the drugs that may be prescribed to you is Lupron or Leuprolide. This drug can be used for various reasons. For men, it is sometimes used to treat prostate cancer. In regards to surrogacy, it can be used to decrease the amount of estrogen in the surrogate mother’s body.
This is important because if there are high levels of estrogen in the body, then your body won’t believe that it’s pregnant. During IVF, the intended parents give samples of their egg and sperm cells. Those cells are placed in a petri dish where they combine to form an embryo. The resulting embryo is then placed inside of your body.
However, if your body doesn’t already believe that it’s pregnant, then it will reject the embryo as a foreign intruder. That’s why controlling the amount of estrogen in your system is so important.
Leuprolide decreases that amount and is even sometimes used to treat endometriosis. This is because endo can sometimes be caused by a high amount of estrogen in the bloodstream. By reducing it, endometriosis may be alleviated.
It’s important to know that certain dosages and brands of Lupron are gender-specific. some are geared towards men while others are geared towards women. It’s important that you listen to how much your doctor tells you to take and when.
One risk of Leuprolide is that it can sometimes cause birth defects. That’s why it’s vital that you stop using Leuprolide after the embryo transfer. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop using the drug.
Even though Leuprolide will stop your menstrual cycle, you can still become pregnant. For surrogates, it’s important that if you intend to have sex, that you use a barrier form of protection like a condom.
You should also not breastfeed while using Leuprolide. If you’re still breastfeeding your own child, then you might want to wait to get started with the process of surrogacy until after you are finished.
The actual protocol of how to use Leuprolide differs with each fertility clinic. Most commonly, an injection is taken into the muscle for a short time before embryo transfer for about 2 weeks. Again, some medication protocols will be different, and most of the fertility clinics we work with will be very specific about dosages.
While side effects are rare, they are sometimes possible. For women taking Leuprolide, it’s possible that their voice might deepen, that they might experience hair growth on their face, that they have increased levels of anxiety or depression, and mood changes. These symptoms can be easily treated by visiting the surrogate psychologist we had you visit for your surrogate psychological screening. These symptoms will hopefully clear up after you stop using Leuprolide.
#2 – Estrace
Another fertility drug that you may be prescribed after you join our California surrogacy agency is Estrace or estradiol. This drug can be used for many purposes as well. For women with menopause, it can be used to help treat their symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal changes. It can also help prevent bone loss.
Primarily, estradiol is used to increase the amount of estrogen in your system. The goal is to help improve your body’s health for an early pregnancy. This can basically help grow your uterine lining. With an improved lining, your body can better support the embryo.
Some of the side effects that you might experience with this drug are breast tenderness, fluid retention, and nausea.
Estradiol is most commonly taken as a tablet or a patch. However, how many you’ll need to take and when is up to the medication protocol designed by your fertility doctor. Sometimes you may need to take it a few weeks before the transfer. Other times, you may need to take it right after the transfer. Each case is different.
#3 – Progesterone
Another common drug that is used for surrogates is progesterone. Named after the same hormone, this medication is sometimes also called Prometrium or Endometrin. The hormone’s job is to help increase the uterine lining. This is a vital hormone to take for the embryo transfer because it helps with early pregnancy.
It’s just another way to help trick your body into thinking that it’s become pregnant through the traditional means.
Some of the side effects that you may experience with this kind of drug are discomfort at the injection site, breast tenderness, vaginal discharge, and dizziness.
There are two main methods of how this hormone is administered. One of those is through a vaginal suppository. The other is through injection. Again, your fertility doctor will go over the medication protocol with you, so you know what to expect, how much you will take, and when it will be given.
#4 – Birth Control
Your normal birth control may also be used as a fertility drug for the embryo transfer. Depending on what kind you take, the doctor might increase or decrease the dosage. They may also switch you to another brand of birth control entirely.
Birth control works by stopping ovulation. This is done by decreasing the amount of estrogen in your body. Without being able to ovulate, your body may believe that it’s already become pregnant. As a result, it will be more likely to accept the intruding embryo as its own.
There are a few common side effects with birth control that are often mild at best. You may experience some breast tenderness, weight gain, fluid retention, mood changes, nausea, upset stomach, and spotting between periods.
Administering birth control is easy. As most contraceptives come in the version of a pill, you simply need to take the pill as prescribed by the doctor.
#5 – Doxycycline
To help ensure that you have the best possible chance for a healthy pregnancy, you’ll also be given doxycycline. The primary use of this drug is to stop bacteria from spreading in your body. It likely won’t be just yourself taking it either.
Doxycycline is given to both the surrogate and the spouse or partner of the surrogate early during the treatment process. This is to help ensure that you’re both healthy. If bacteria manage to enter the new embryo inserted into your body, a few terrible things could happen.
One scenario is that if the embryo becomes infected by the bacteria, your immune system might kick in. It might recognize the embryo as a threat and terminate it. The entire process of IVF might have to start over. For couples struggling with infertility, this could be a serious problem. They may only have a few eggs or sperm cells to give.
Another scenario is that your body may keep the embryo, but the bacteria might invade it and damage it. Bacteria can disrupt DNA’s structure to the point where birth defects occur. No one may realize the damage until after the baby is born. Or it may cause you to miscarry the baby at some point.
Doxycycline can get rid of harmful bacteria and ensure that the pregnancy is as healthy as possible.
This drug is also used to treat problems like urinary tract infections, acne, eye infections, respiratory issues, gum disease, and other bacteria-based infections.
Side effects are rare with doxycycline. However, some that you may experience are vomiting, nausea, dizziness, fever, headache, sore throat, tightness in the chest, decreased appetite, or diarrhea.
#6 – Aspirin
Something as common as aspirin might also be used. However, the aspirin used at a fertility clinic is likely different from the one you have at home. Low-dosage aspirin has been said to help with implantation rates.
This may be because of the anti-inflammatory properties that aspirin offers. When you experience pain, it’s because of inflammation. Aspirin helps reduce the inflammation which, in turn, reduces the amount of pain that you experience. A low-dosage aspirin could offer the same effect, albeit on a smaller scale.
When used during surrogacy, it can likely keep your body’s immune system from acting up when the embryo is planted inside of your body.
Some of the side effects that you may experience with aspirin are heartburn, easy bruising, and an upset stomach.
The correct dosage and brand of aspirin should be left to your fertility doctor. If you ever need to take aspirin to treat a headache or anything else, then you should speak with your doctor beforehand. The increased amount could have a negative impact on a healthy pregnancy.
#7 – Tetracycline
Another antibiotic that might be prescribed to you is tetracycline. This drug works similarly to doxycycline in that it kills bad bacteria inhabiting your body. It’s most commonly given a few days before the embryo transfer.
It’s also used to fight infections in the skin, gut, genitals, and lymph nodes. If you ever come into contact with contaminated food or animals, then tetracycline is often prescribed to help fight off possible bacterial infections from that contact.
Tetracycline is given as a tablet.
Some of the side effects of tetracycline include sensitivity to the sun, an upset stomach, headaches, and a loss in appetite.
#8 – Medrol
Medrol is used to treat an abundance of conditions. In terms of using it after joining a surrogacy agency, it’s used to help suppress the autoimmune system. This is important because your immune system is the primary reason behind rejecting embryos.
The immune system is trained to locate foreign invaders and remove them from the body. They’re perceived as threats. If the body believes that the embryo is a foreign intruder rather than something that is created, then the immune system will send out antibodies to destroy it.
Medrol helps make the autoimmune system not as functional. It’s less likely to destroy the embryo. However, this also means that it can’t protect you from bacteria. That’s why you’ll also likely take an antibiotic to help keep the harmful bacteria out of your body.
Joining a California Surrogate Agency
When parents struggling with infertility need to find a surrogate, they first turn to a California surrogate agency like ours, Made in the USA Surrogacy located in the greater Sacramento area.
By taking these medications and joining our surrogacy agency as a trusted surrogate mother, you can be the best candidate for them. These drugs can help you offer a safe environment for your baby to grow.