Taking Medications During the Surrogacy Process

Being a surrogate comes with a lot of responsibility, including taking multiple medications throughout the process – especially during the first one-third of your pregnancy.

From pills to shots, these medications are meant to prepare your body for an embryo transfer and mimic the effects of pregnancy on your body. Typically, these medications are started three to four weeks before your embryo transfer and are taken for six to eight weeks into your pregnancy.

How is it possible to stay organized?

When your first shipment of medications arrives, you may feel the same excitement that you did when you were a kid and got to go back-to-school shopping for supplies. Or, you might be so overwhelmed that you hide the box. Either way, you’ll want to carefully read the instructions and be prepared with a plan for organizing all of the needles, pills, vitamins, bandages, and other necessities that are included.

When you finally open the box, you’ll notice multiple rounds of the same medications, a supply that will get you through a few weeks. Keep in mind that not every medication in the box will be taken at the same time.

Some of Growing Generations surrogates have shared their approach to organizing their medications:

  • Kate: “I’m old school. I print out the calendar the clinic sent me and just make a check box for each medication for each day. Check them off throughout the day and use phone alarms to keep med times consistent.”
  • TJ: “I use baskets from the dollar store for organizing as well as a zipper bag to keep with me for things I take more often (pills and vitamins). I use alarms in my phone to remind me when I take medications, and I change the name of the alarm so I know what to take.”
  • Kelly: “I printed out my med calendar and taped it to my bathroom mirror, so I’d see it every morning/night when I brushed my teeth. I kept my medications in a hanging shoe organizer in my closet, which was adjacent to my bathroom. I would check things off the list as I did them so I wouldn’t forget what I had taken that day. Set phone alarms to remind you.”

What do you wish you would have known when you started your surrogacy journey?

When you talk to many of our surrogates, you’ll hear that most wish they had more experience with giving themselves the necessary injections prior to receiving their box of medications. So, if you are anxious about which needles to use and how to administer your shots, do a trial run during your medical screening so a professional can be on hand to help and offer advice.

Alicia, another of our surrogates, said she wished she knew that applying heat before and after to the area where she was getting her shot would help ease the pain. She said she tried icing first, but that always caused lumps to form, and the area hurt more because her cold muscles could not absorb her skin’s oils.

Another surrogate said the whole process isn’t as scary as she made it out to be initially.

If you’re ready to take the next step toward becoming a surrogate, check out everything you need to know about the process. You can also follow the “amazing and rewarding” journey of Ashley, one of our surrogates, on Instagram to see how she stays organized.

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 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 book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.