As a Surrogate or Egg Donor, you will be expected to take a number of injectable medications and experience many blood draws. If you’re contemplating becoming a Surrogate or Egg Donor, but are worried about your fear of needles, here are some tips that may help you get through the process a little easier.
Ask for a butterfly needle
These small needles are very thin and are attached to a slim, flexible catheter. They can be very precisely placed without causing any pain. There is little to no movement of the needle as the blood is collected, because the catheter will be used to connect the tube for collection.
Ask for an experienced phlebotomist
Don’t be afraid to ask how much experience the person collecting your blood has had. If you don’t feel comfortable, explain your fear and ask for a more experienced phlebotomist or lab technician.
Plan a special reward for after each blood draw. Get a pedicure, or treat yourself to a fancy pastry. Looking forward to a reward can help you focus on the positive outcome of the experience.
Use an anesthetic
Most doctors will happily prescribe EMLA cream (lidocaine/prilocaine) or another anesthetic to reduce the pain of injections. The cream should be applied well in advance and given enough time to numb the area fully before the injection. Most people apply the cream 20 minutes in advance and cover it with plastic wrap to allow the medication to absorb into the skin.
If the thought of self-administering medications makes you cringe, ask for help from your partner or a friend. Some of the injections (particularly the intramuscular shots) can be daunting and often need to be injected at an awkward angle. Asking someone to be your “shot buddy” is a great way to avoid having to watch the injection or work up the nerve to self-administer.
Keep your eye on the prize
Always remember that you’re doing this for the best reason of all – to bring the joy of becoming a parent to a hopeful individual or couple who would not be able to achieve their dream without your compassion and dedication.