Lately, in the media, we hear a lot about celebrity women using surrogacy as an option for becoming a parent. Despite the news stories, the concept of surrogacy and the medical acronyms associated with it are still unknown t to most.
Furthermore, the procedures themselves might seem unfamiliar to a person who hasn’t studied reproductive technology.
Although every situation is unique and customized to the individuals involved, for those who have ever considered getting a surrogate or becoming one, these are the medically significant milestones that occur during the process.
Medical and psychological testing
Women who express interest in being a surrogate are tested rigorously to ensure they have the best chance of carrying a healthy pregnancy and can withstand the rigors of IVF. Standard screenings include checking for any physical conditions which could endanger their ability to be a surrogate, and psychological screenings to ensure they can withstand the powerful emotions and situations surrounding the process.
Trial with a mock cycle
After successfully passing all tests, the medical team will test their body’s reaction to the medications and process of IVF by performing a mock cycle. Surrogate candidates receive all medications necessary to prepare for conception and help the embryo develop while hormone levels, blood work, and ultrasounds are monitored. Medical professionals will customize the tests to their particular program priorities and the women’s unique medical profile.
A fertility specialist will develop an individualized medication plan to coordinate and control the surrogate’s cycle based on your body and the circumstances of your surrogacy.
If all conditions are favorable for successful implantation, their reproductive endocrinologist will prepare her body for the transfer. Most women take progesterone before the embryo transfer and continue through the twelfth week of pregnancy to maintain an appropriate and stable level of hormones for successful implantation. The oral steroid Medrol suppresses the surrogate’s autoimmune system to increase the chance of successful implantation. The embryos are placed directly into the uterus through a thin, flexible catheter which is inserted through the cervix. After that, she is sent home to rest for a few days.
Confirmation of pregnancy
The reproductive team will perform a non-invasive pregnancy test after nine days and repeated two days later. Pregnancy is confirmed after the results of the second test show an increase in pregnancy hormones. Many surrogates require more than one embryo transfer to become pregnant successfully.
If you’re considering using a surrogate or egg donor, you need to know if it’s right for you. Although there may be unfamiliar medical procedures during the process, every test and medication helps ensure your surrogate’s safety and boost your chances of success at having a family.
The medical professionals on your team will monitor and advise you at every step of the process.
It’s important to seek out a reputable and professional surrogacy medical team to help you determine your goals and preferences. Individuals are unique, so the process is different for each person and situation. Your medical team can give you a more detailed idea of what your journey to becoming a parent through surrogacy and will look like before you commit to a contract.