For a surrogate, her surrogacy pregnancy is different from her other pregnancies and will most likely be her first experience with the IVF process. At ConceiveAbilities, our Life Simplicity Promise ensures each surrogate fully understands the IVF process and is comfortable with every step.
Medically, a surrogate goes through the same steps as any woman who undergoes IVF treatment. Because the embryo has no genetic relation to the surrogate, it is implanted in her womb through the IVF process and her body needs to be prepared for implantation by taking medications and hormones like progesterone and estrogen to prepare her body for the embryo transfer. The fertility clinic will provide direction on the surrogate’s specific medication protocol, such as hormone injections, and it will vary from one fertility clinic to another.
Watch Fertility Expert Dr. Mark Leondires of the Illume Fertility Clinic explain the embryo transfer process.
As your surrogacy agency, ConceiveAbilities will guide you through every step of your journey. Our team will collaborate with your fertility clinic to ensure all steps are completed. The below checklist will help you keep track of your progress. Please also refer to email communications for more details on each step and do not hesitate to reach out to your team with any questions along the way.
Once you are matched, you will complete the financial and medical work necessary to. This included obtaining medical clearance from the fertility clinic, getting the proper insurance in place and completing your gestational carrier agreement. When all of the medical, financial and legal paperwork is complete, you will be cleared for embryo transfer. You will then begin the surrogate IVF process to prepare your body for a surrogate pregnancy.
After you are cleared for embryo transfer, the fertility clinic will establish a treatment plan and medical protocol detailed and specific to you. Remember, each clinic and each IVF cycle can be different, but this is an example of what an IVF calendar may look like:
Step 1: For the first three weeks, many women take birth control to regulate hormone levels and to synchronize her menstrual cycle so that the timing is aligned with the medical protocol.
Step 2: The day the woman gets her period is an important step in the IVF process. She will continue to take birth control pills to maintain the regulation of hormones.
Step 3: On day 21, she may begin taking medications such as Lupron that will mimic natural ovulation.
Step 4: After taking medication for 10 days, she will have an appointment to ensure ovulation has been suppressed.
Step 5: She will begin taking medications to grow the lining of the uterus and to help her body prepare for a successful embryo transfer. While the specific approach varies and is customized to each gestational carrier provided by the fertility clinic.
Step 6: The embryo transfer! The highest quality embryo that is available to the intended parents is transferred to the gestational carrier to attempt a pregnancy. A pregnancy test can be attempted about two weeks after the transfer.
Most frequently, surrogates are on a medication regime for 10-12 weeks. With our All-In Surrogate Care and Compensation Package, she receives comprehensive support from a team of experts. There can be unforeseen circumstances in which the stimulation process takes a bit longer, or may even need to be canceled and restarted the next month if the ovaries are over or under responding to the medical protocol.
While your clinic can estimate a general timeframe and will create a calendar for you to follow, it’s important to maintain flexibility, follow instructions precisely, and remember that each cycle is unique.
And, are you a woman who enjoyed a healthy and successful pregnancy? Do you have friends or family who have suffered from infertility or need assistance from someone else to build their family? Have you ever considered the role you could play in helping someone else build their family - as a surrogate? Learn more about the process of helping someone else's dream of building a family come true. We would love to talk with you.