What To Do With Unused Needles

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Daily injections are a part of life for most surrogates. In the majority of surrogate medical cycles we will ask our surrogates to administer one intramuscular shot per day over the course of the first ten to twelve weeks of the pregnancy. This necessitates the need for you to keep a large inventory of syringes and needles on hand during the medical cycle.

Once you are done with these injections and weaned from medications it is typical for there to be several additional needles and syringes on hand. This excess supply often provides a conundrum for our surrogates: what to do with all of those unused needles?

The simple answer is this: you need to talk with your intended parents and/or case specialist first.

These needles and syringes are the property of your intended parents, as they purchased them for your use during the medical cycle of their surrogacy. No matter what you choose to do with the unused medical supplies and medications, this decision should be cleared with your intended parents first.

That said, there are a few common options for disposing of all of those unneeded needles and syringes.

Send them back

Some surrogates and their intended parents will opt to send the unused medical supplies back to the pharmacy from which they were purchased. If this is the wish of your intended parents, you’ll want to call the pharmacy in advance to see if any restocking fees exist, if they’ll accept the return of sharps, and how to ship the items safely.

Dispose of them properly

Perhaps the most common choice is simply disposal, as you’ll need to dispose of your used sharps anyway. In this case it is important to open the sharps and deposit them into the sharps container as opposed to simply placing them into the trash. You’ll also want to find a location that offers sharps disposal. In many cases local pharmacies, fire stations, or public health centers will offer disposal services. From time to time there may be a fee associated with disposal of sharps. You can find a state by state listing of regulations and disposal sites here: http://www.bd.com/us/diabetes/page.aspx?cat=7002&id=10284

Donate them responsibly

An unconventional consideration for needle disposal is to consider donating them to non-profit causes in your neighborhood. In many big cities you may be able to find needle exchange programs that will accept donations of unused needles and syringes. Often these programs take used needles out of the hands of drug addicts, replacing them with the donated needles. The hope is that this needle exchange program will help curb the transmission of diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Other needle donation programs also exist to help the medical needs in developing countries or, pending on the type of needles and syringes you have, to help those living with diabetes in the USA.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over 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 for Reproductive Medicine, 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 Emeritus 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’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.