Making Your Surrogacy Meds Manageable

Our surrogates tell us that the day their medications arrive in the mail feels two-pronged. First they feel the excitement to begin the cycle, and then they open the box and feel completely overwhelmed. This is normal. Most of our surrogates will not be on any daily medications, so when a large box shows up filled to the brim with bottles and bottles of pills, needles, boxes, blister packs and even a sharps box, that feeling of total bewilderment is completely acceptable. In fact, we’ve heard from more than one woman that she put the box in a closet for the day, resolving to look at it again later.

So what comes next? How can you transform this daunting box of medications into a manageable task? Here’s a couple of pointers:

First, take it all out of the box and sort it. You’ll notice that a lot of things are duplicates. Your initial medication shipment should provide enough medication to get you through your embryo transfer without having to order refills. That means that inside the box you’ll usually find multiple containers of certain drugs. Sometimes the task of comprehending your medications becomes less intimidating once you realize that, while there are a lot of medications in there, you won’t be taking pills from each bottle at the same time.

Next, pull out the instructions sheet from your nurse. This sheet will list what each medication is and when you’ll need to take it. Knowledge is power. Knowing the medications that you’ll be taking can be freeing all on it’s own. This is also a good time to ask questions. If you’re curious about administration of medications or purposes of them, feel free to shoot your case specialist or nurse an Email or phone call. Once you understand the drugs you’ll but taking they can seem much less scary.

Finally, organization is key. While there is no one right way to organize your medications, successful surrogates tell us time and time again that they had a system in place for helping them remember what to take and when to take it. Many use a large pill box with four sections for each day of the week (morning, noon, evening and bedtime). Others have used over the door shoe organizers for the bottles or journals with checklists. Whatever method you use, consider this; if you sit down with that large medication box once a week and fill your pill box, when you’re done you can put the rest of that large box out of sight and begin focusing just on one section of pills at a time. Suddenly you’ve gone from a large box full of medications to just a couple of pills at a time.

The key is to find a method that encourages you to remember to take the right medications at the right time. And, as always, never hesitate to contact your case specialist with concerns or questions.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.