While it may be the more clinical portion of your surrogacy journey, the surrogacy medical process is the catalyst for your surrogate to bring your baby into the world.
If you have questions about surrogate pregnancy, contact a surrogacy professional today to learn more about the gestational surrogacy process.
The medical process of surrogacy is generally seven steps:
- Step 1: Medical screening
- Step 2: Mock cycle
- Step 3: Preparing for the embryo transfer
- Step 4: Embryo transfer procedure
- Step 5: Surrogate pregnancy confirmation
- Step 6: Prenatal care
- Step 7: Delivery
Each of these steps will bring you closer to growing the family you’ve dreamed of!
Continue reading to find out more about the seven-step surrogacy medical process and how it can help you have a baby of your own.
Understanding the Medical Process of Surrogacy
All surrogacies use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help intended parents conceive. During IVF, a doctor will use either the intended parents’ gametes or gametes from donors to create an embryo. Once an embryo forms, it’s transferred to the surrogate in the hope that it will implant in her uterus lining and result in a pregnancy.
Step 1: Surrogacy Medical Process Screening
All surrogacy agencies pre-screen potential surrogates before you ever see their profile. These surrogacy medical screenings include:
- Pap smear and physical
- Bloodwork to check for STIs
- Hysteroscopy (a procedure that determines the size of a woman’s uterus and ensures her fallopian tubes aren’t obstructed)
- Saline sonogram to flush the uterus and check for fibroids
- And more
If you and your partner are providing the gametes for the gestational surrogacy process, you’ll:
- Be screened for STIs that could be passed to the gestational carrier
- Undergo the egg retrieval process or provide a sperm sample
Step 2: Mock Cycle
After you match with a surrogate and all parties sign the surrogacy contract, the surrogate will undergo a mock cycle.
During this step of the surrogacy medical process, a reproductive endocrinologist will have the surrogate take the same medications they will take for the embryo transfer. This allows the doctor to:
- Make sure the uterine lining responds to the fertility drugs
- Run bloodwork and conduct ultrasounds to check hormone levels and view the uterus
A doctor may also do a “trial transfer” to check the angle of the surrogate’s uterus.
The common medications the surrogate will take during the medical process of surrogacy include:
- Prenatal Vitamins
Step 3: Embryo Transfer Preparation for the Gestational Carrier Process
After a successful mock trial, the surrogate will begin to prepare for the embryo transfer. This transfer will go one of two ways:
- If you are using frozen embryos, the transfer will match the surrogate’s cycle
- If you are opting for a “fresh cycle,” the intended mother and the surrogate’s cycles will get synched by medications
After the eggs are collected and fertilized, the embryo transfer is scheduled.
Step 4: Embryo Transfer for the Gestational Carrier Process
Before the transfer, the surrogate will start taking certain medications to prepare her body for the relatively short outpatient procedure.
After the transfer, the doctor will likely recommend that the surrogate rests for a few days to help promote implantation.
Step 5: Surrogate Pregnancy Confirmation
After nine days, the surrogate will return to the fertility clinic, and the doctor will check for pregnancy by checking HCG levels.
- If HCG levels are positive: The fertility clinic will schedule blood tests and ultrasounds to confirm and monitor the pregnancy. Once the fertility clinic determines the pregnancy is healthy, the surrogate will be released to an OBGYN.
- If pregnancy isn’t detected: You can decide if you’d like to try another round of IVF.
Step 6: Surrogate Pregnancy Prenatal Care
Once the surrogate is released to see an OBGYN, she will start receiving prenatal care. The doctor may:
- Prescribe medications and hormones for the surrogate to take throughout the first trimester
- Schedule frequent appointments to make sure the pregnancy remains stable
You and your partner will likely attend these visits so you can watch your baby grow and share part of the pregnancy with the surrogate.
Step 7: Delivery
When it’s time for the surrogate to give birth to your baby, you’ll head to the hospital so you can be part of the experience. After she delivers your child, you’ll go home with your baby, and the surrogate will go home and recover and reflect on the beautiful gift she gave your family. This marks the end of the surrogacy medical process and your family’s surrogacy journey.
Start Your Surrogacy Journey Today
Although the medical process of surrogacy is multiple steps, time flies once you start. You can start your surrogacy journey by contacting a surrogate professional today.