Progesterone is a hormone released within the body that stimulates the uterus, preparing the endometrium for the possibility of pregnancy after ovulation. The uterine lining thickens to receive the fertilized egg. It also prevents the uterus from contracting in order to reject an embryo. If implantation is successful, the body continues to use progesterone to create the blood vessels that will feed the growing fetus. Once the placenta has developed, generally around weeks 9-11, it too secretes progesterone to ensure elevated levels throughout the whole of the pregnancy, which aids in milk production, among other things. In IVF, progesterone is essential in order to successfully conceive after an embryo transfer. Although there are multiple ways to increase your progesterone, the most common are the suppositories (vaginally) or intramuscularly (a needle in the rump!).
Progesterone Suppositories for Surrogacy
A vaginal progesterone gel can be used but the more common pills are individually packaged for insertion and come with individual applicators. The expectation is to be taking 3-4 tablets vaginally each day, schedule dependent. Although the insertion is relatively simple, it creates a grand mess for your underwear in the hours after use. It’s encouraged to use panty liners for the duration to deal with the change in discharge. Some women are mildly inconvenienced, others find the use straightforward and don’t experience as many discomforts. Vaginally is a very effective method as the progesterone is absorbed directly into the uterus. Knowing how important progesterone is, keep a consistent schedule while using the medications to ensure the highest chances of success.
Progesterone Injections for Surrogacy
Progesterone can also be injected using a needle, intramuscularly. It’s combined with an oil to make the bodily absorption easier. The progesterone is taken in slowly and evenly into the body. Surrogates and donors have complained about the shots, while others have been amazed at the lack of pain and ease of use. This method is also used to control bleeding in early pregnancy. Understandably, some people don’t wish to use needles regularly or don’t have a support person to assist with the injections. Afterall, it is an injection deep within the bum and impossible to self-administer.
Alternate Options for Progesterone During Surrogacy
There may be alternate options for you available as progesterone can be taken orally, vaginally, intramuscularly or subcutaneously. Availability would be dependent upon your location, your fertility clinic, and your individual health history. Take the time to discuss the options with your fertility physician, so you understand the medication requirements, schedule and commitment involved for egg donation and surrogacy.
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