Prep Your Body For the Experience of Being a Surrogate: Here are 6 Tricks to Ease the Process of Taking Fertility Medication
Hello, surrogates today we are going to discuss one of the major parts of the process of being a surrogate- taking your fertility medication!
When you become a surrogate, you will be required to administer fertility medication to prep your body for embryo transfer and to hold the pregnancy until your body begins to produce hormones necessary to hold a pregnancy.
Maybe you are totally comfortable giving yourself medication, or you’re on the opposite side of the spectrum and you’re nervous to stick yourself with those needles daily and you are going to have your partner help you. I assure you no matter where you sit on the spectrum of giving yourself the medication it’s only for a time, and it’s for a great cause.
Completing the medication protocol will become just like brushing your teeth- a daily routine.
But let’s talk about a few tricks to prep your experience and body as a surrogate!
#1 – Set up your space
It’s very important to be organized as you prep your body each day.
- Do you know what medications you’re taking in the am or pm?
- Do you know if you’re alternating days?
- Do you know how much of each medication you are taking?
- Do you know which needle is used to retrieve the medication and which to insert with?
- Do you know the insertion site or method to take each medication?
The medication protocol can be daunting so it’s very important you are organized. We recommend taping a detailed calendar to your bathroom mirror and checking off the medication each day you take it to keep track.
Whichever method works best for you, be sure to fully understand the details of how, when and where you will be taking your medication each day. Organization is key!
#2 – Will you be traveling?
Keep in mind that when you are not home you will still need to take your fertility medication.
Once you have set up your bathroom vanity with your medication protocol detailed on a calendar, have your shoe rack over the door with all your needles and medication properly sorted, be sure to have a plan when you travel.
If you travel on a weekend getaway or travel for your embryo transfer you will still need all your medications. It is extremely important to have an organized travel bag with all your medications and needles. Be sure to take these as a carry-on if you are traveling by plane as you don’t want your medications lost if your bags happen to be left behind.
#3 – How to prep your body
Whether you will be inserting a subcutaneous injection or an intramuscular injection using a cold pack on the area will help numb the area prior to injection. Grab a lunchbox ice pack and prep a few minutes prior to taking the medication by placing the pack on the designated injection site.
Warm the medication
It helps to warm the medication prior to inserting. Do this by placing the vial in your bra for several minutes as you prep. Your natural body heat will help warm the medication to body temperature. Never place the medication in the microwave!
Clean the area with alcohol swabs
Always clean the injection site with alcohol swabs and let it dry before injecting the medication. If you do not wait for the area to fully dry it will sting when you administer the medication. Be sure to always use a clean alcohol swab.
You will also want to clean the vial with a fresh swab prior to inserting the retrieval needle to ensure that you are not putting bacteria into your medication.
#4 – Alternate sides for the injection site
Some medications will be taken subcutaneously in the abdomen- don’t worry it’s not as bad as it sounds. Other sites may be intramuscular and include the thigh or buttocks.
Pinch the area you will be inserting the medication to separate the skin from the muscle. First, try gently poking the least sensitive area before administering the medication.
Pull the skin taught prior to inserting the medication and always pull the needle out smoothly without wiggling.
It’s recommended to alternate your left and right side each day as you administer medication as the areas may become bruised or sensitive.
#5 – Recovery
When you’re finished with the injection apply a heat pack and gently massage the area to help disperse the medication. You did it! You’ve completed a day of medication and you are one step further to a successful surrogacy journey.
If all else fails and you are struggling with the injections and easing your discomfort, be sure to talk to your nurse coordinators at the fertility clinic. Potentially ask about numbing creams or other tricks the nurses may be able to recommend. As with any medications, if you experience any side-effects be sure to call right away.
#6 – You can do it
With all the injections and repetitive lab work a surrogate must do, just remember the greater cause for which you are serving and take it day by day!
Don’t worry if you need your partner to help you, or you need to distract yourself with the tv or music. You can do it! Taking fertility medication is an important piece to the surrogacy process for a successful outcome, but remember it won’t last forever and will be worth it in the end!