Dear Scholastic Surrogate: Do I have to give myself shots?

Dear Scholastic Surrogate: I am a surrogate and was just matched with intended parents. I’m super excited but am starting to get worried about the shots I’ve heard people talk about. Do I have to give myself the shots? -Scared of Needles

Hi, Scared—

There are so many questions that come along with becoming a gestational carrier and one that we get most often is: “Do I have to give myself shots?” Self-injections are a possibility when becoming a gestational carrier. I know it might sound scary but remember at the end of the journey a baby is born. 

Some women can give themselves shots, but let’s face it, not all of us like the sight of a needle so maybe you think giving yourself the shot isn’t in your journey. Giving yourself a shot is much more a mental challenge than a physical one, but in a lot of cases, the surrogate’s partner, or maybe close friend or family member, will help administer the shots.  

Many times the clinic that your Intended Parents have chosen to do the embryo transfer might start you off with a shot called Lupron (Leuprolide Acetate), a subcutaneous injection that suppresses the ovulation cycle of the Gestational Carrier before transfer. Lupron is administered with a small needle and is relatively easy to do since your body has lots of subcutaneous injection sites (think a pinch of belly skin!). The timeframe for these shots is typically short. 

The other injection major injection you might be asked to take, Progesterone in Oil, is an intramuscular shot that is used to thicken the lining of the uterus and prepare it for embryo implantation. This shot is definitely more difficult and can hurt more because it is intramuscular and there are only a few places it can be administered. This is the shot that is scariest to most. The needle is larger and the pace to administer the medication is slower because of the oil the progesterone is in. The other not so fun part is because there are only a few places on the body this can be given, and as it is likely you will have to do this daily for 10-14 weeks, those sites can become sore. 

There are many tips you can use to help reduce the soreness. One idea is to massage that area right after the shot. Applying a heating pad to the site also helps, and you can even get a portable one for the days when you are on the go. Movement is also a big key to helping with the pain; try to keep that muscle moving after your shot. Reward did it!

These medications are meant to prepare your body for the embryo transfer and simulate the hormones your body would produce naturally. Remember to follow the instructions that the clinic will provide you on administering your medications. If you have any questions, New Mexico Surrogacy can help. If you are interested in becoming a gestational carrier, or just want to talk through the process and what it might be like, fill out an intake form and a member of our team would be glad to get in touch with you.

Ready to change someone’s life? Become a gestational surrogate!