Some of the more commonly asked questions about becoming a surrogate revolve around medication. What exactly does it involve? Surrogacy requires a medication protocol, one that is unique to your circumstances. While some are more commonly used, your doctor will ultimately determine what this sequence of medication will look like. Your clinic and agency will work together to support you in this process by answering any questions you have and ensuring that your medication is a good fit for you.
Though individual cases vary, some of the most frequently used medications are listed below.
Your medications will typically be administered one of three ways: pills, shots, and patches. Birth control, aspirin, Medrol, and doxycycline are taken as an oral tablet. Lupron and progesterone are administered by injection, and estrogen (estradiol) can be taken as a pill or applied as a patch.
By this point, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Those are a lot of medications and tools to keep track of! Fortunately, the surrogates before you have found some helpful solutions. One of the most popular strategies for organizing medication among ConceiveAbilities surrogates is the “shoe organizer method.” This method uses a plastic shoe organizer – the kind that usually hangs over a closet door to keep pairs of shoes separated.
As surrogate Mary Day explains, “pills along the top, vials down the left side with the corresponding syringes to the right, sharps and containers along the bottom.” Using a shoe organizing bag with clear pockets gives easy separation and visibility to all your medications, and Mary gives the extra tip of keeping it hanging “inside of the linen closet…so it’s out of sight (away from curious little kids.)”
Surrogate Katrina Mathias stores her meds “in a toiletry travel bag from Amazon. It has tons of compartments, pockets, and zippered pouches.” She loves the extra perk of being able to “use the bag after I’m off meds.”
Pill boxes are another tried and true method of keeping your medications organized. Some women recommend storing all your meds in an organized pouch like Katrina, then setting aside some time at the beginning of each week to sort your (applicable) meds into a pill box with a compartment for each day.
Organizing your medications makes it easier to incorporate them into your routine and stay on top of your schedule. Whatever organizational method you choose, the most important part is that it makes sense to you. Taking your medication diligently is a critical piece of your surrogacy journey, so implement a system that works for your lifestyle and habits.
The majority of your medications can be stored in a cool, dry place. Some medications may require refrigeration; if you have any questions about how to safely store your medication you can always reach out to your doctor or team at ConceiveAbilities. As surrogate Mary mentioned above, surrogacy medications are like any other medication - make sure you store them safely away from children and pets.
Some of your medications will be injections. Storing and disposing of your sharps safely is an important consideration as you determine your medication storage and organization. Rules and regulations may vary depending on where you live, but many places have designated sites to easily dispose of your sharps. Check here to see what options are available, or chat with your doctor or agency for more guidance.
Just as every surrogate may have a different method to organizing medication, the same goes for organizing your calendar. Think through your medications as they apply to duration, dates and specific time of day; you have an easy formula to help set up your calendar reminders in a way that works for you. It can be helpful to set aside time each week to make sure your calendar is up to date, and to set a special reminder when you need to reach out to your pharmacy for refills.
Organizing your calendar and syncing your reminders is key to keeping your medication schedule organized. Depending on where you are in your journey, your medications will vary. Some medications are taken prior to the embryo transfer, while others are taken immediately before and after the transfer. Others are taken up to 12 weeks into pregnancy.
Your doctor or nurse coordinator will ensure that you are taking the correct medications every step of the way, but organizing your own calendar is a good way to keep track of your schedule. When you know you are about to start a new medication, set a calendar reminder for the day you need to start, finish, and reach out to your pharmacy for refills. If it is not a daily medication, set a recurring reminder for yourself on the days that you need to take it. If your medication requires that you take it at a specific time of day, you can incorporate an alarm into your reminders.
Medications are an important part of surrogacy, but they don’t have to be daunting. The medications you will take throughout the process help to ensure a successful and healthy implantation before, during, and after the embryo transfer. Keeping a consistent schedule of the pills, shots, and patches you need is crucial, and your surrogate sisters are full of experience and ideas for how to organize all of your medications. Your clinic and team at ConceiveAbilities are here to support you to ensure that taking and organizing your medication runs as smoothly as the rest of your surrogacy journey.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.