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Did you know that the medication surrogates use are the same ones any women undergoing IVF treatments receives? While these medications haven’t been studied in the surrogate population specifically, IVF was pioneered over 40 years ago with over 8 million children born from IVF and counting. Many top doctors and scientists have also undergone IVF treatments themselves.

The Safety of Fertility Treatments and Medications

The FDA has consistently concluded that fertility treatments have been proven safe with the vast majority of people undergoing them experiencing no ill effects to their general health. While there is a proven risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in general IVF, that risk is limited to biological mothers and egg donors and not surrogates who do not stimulate their own ovaries. Additionally, qualified Reproductive Endocrinologists take great care to balance prescribed hormones and medications as not to over stimulate ovaries. As a result, this particular adverse effect tends to be rare. Most women undergoing egg retrievals experience temporary bloating and tenderness. 

Risks and Side Effects of Surrogacy Medications

There are also a few women who react to the hormonal fertility medication or have a complication during embryo transfer e.g. a pelvic infection, though these are also incredibly rare. The most typical reactions to the hormones used in surrogacy are skin itching/redness or bruising at the injection sites as well as temporary headaches, nausea, and fatigue. 

Bottom line: Though the risk is small, women who chose to undergo IVF or become surrogates are well informed of the potential averse effects by doctors making professional judgement calls about whether a specific treatment is suitable for their patients. A woman with a history of a blood clotting disorder, for example, would not qualify to become a surrogate.

If you are a surrogate or intended parent seeking potential surrogacy matches for an independent journey without a surrogacy agency, start here!

Bridget Myers

Bridget Myers grew up in small town in Maryland. She started her career as a substitute teacher before meeting the love of her life and moving to the suburbs of Chicago. She has a passion for dogs and painting. Bridget got involved in Surrogacy Place after researching surrogacy for her best friend. Since joining the team at Surrogacy Place, she has developed a passion for advocating on behalf of Intended Parents and surrogates and doing her part for meaningful reform in the industry.