Surrogate Medications

The medications involved in a gestational surrogacy cycle are listed below. We will answer any questions you may have and will walk you through all of the medications and their possible side effects. Please note that each surrogate responds differently to her individual protocol; some surrogates will experience no side effects at all. You will also have the opportunity to discuss the fertility clinic’s specific protocol with your IVF nurse at your medical evaluation appointment.
All surrogates should include a daily prenatal vitamin (or folic acid) at least one month before attempting to get pregnant. Some prenatal vitamins that include iron can cause an upset stomach/nausea. If you experience this side effect, you can switch to a iron free prenatal vitamin or take a daily folic acid pill. Folic acid combined with a healthy diet is a great start to a healthy pregnancy! (Most women will need to supplement with iron by week 20 in pregnancy; especially with twins. If you are sensitive to iron speak to your pharmacist or doctor about FeraMax 150 which many surrogates will take to avoid upset stomach/nausea).

Lupron (leuprolide acetate)

Use: Lupron prevents the usual hormone exchange that causes follicle production and ovulation by suppressing the pituitary stimulation to the ovaries.

Side effects: Headache, fatigue, hot flashes.

Administration: Lupron is an injection given subcutaneously (in the fatty tissue) by a ½ inch needle under the skin.


Estrace (estradiol)

Use: Estrogen is a hormone that helps grow the lining of the uterus which maintains an early pregnancy.

Side effects: Bloating, mild nausea, or breast tenderness.

Administration: Oral tablet or vaginal suppository.



Use: Doxycycline is a pre-cycle antibiotic that prevents any possible low-grade pelvic infection.

Side Effects: None, but varies per individual.

Administration: Oral tablet.


Medrol (methylprednisolone)

Use: Medrol is a low-dose steroid pill to suppress the autoimmune system from interfering with embryo implantation.  (It has a bitter taste which can be avoided by swallowing whole inside a piece of banana). 

Side effects: None.

Administration: Oral tablet.


Low Dose Aspirin

Use: Aspirin assists with cycle stimulation and impending embryonic implantation. This medication will continue until 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Side effects: Upset stomach, heartburn, easy bruising or bleeding.

Administration: Oral tablet.

Low Dose Aspirin


Use: Progesterone is the hormone necessary for the preparation of the uterine lining for the implantation of the embryo and the maintenance of early pregnancy.

Side effects: Breast tenderness, injection site tenderness, vaginal discharge and dizziness.

Administration: Intramuscular injection (into the muscle) or in the form of vaginal suppository.


Surrogate Medications