Surrogacy 101: The Medical Process

Gestational surrogacy is a highly-involved precise medical practice that requires the use of IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) and IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) to bring about a child that is not related to the carrier. If you’re thinking about being a surrogate, you too will have to go through this process. Hopefully, this article can answer any questions you have about Simple Surrogacy’s medical process, but if you have more please reach out here.

Getting Ready

Before being matched, we will need to review all of your medical records to make sure there is nothing in your medical history or delivery history that would make you not qualify to be a surrogate. Then, after you are matched to Intended Parents, you will need to go through a medical examination at their clinic to determine if you are eligible to be a surrogate. All clinics require this to make sure you are not putting yourself or this child in danger by becoming pregnant through IVF. Once you pass these examinations both physical and psychological, you will be cleared to move forward with the rest of the surrogacy process, which continues with legal contracts.

Most Intended Parents have already frozen embryos ready for transplant by the time they are matched with a surrogate. So, after the medical screening and legal, you can all move right into getting a calendar to begin the IVF process. Your representative from the IVF clinic will coordinate with you, and your coordinator at Simple Surrogacy to get you your calendar of expected appointments, checkups, and your insemination date. This calendar will also include the recommended medication and dosages. Our representatives reach out personally to make sure you fully understand the calendar before the process begins.

Many of the medications up to the implantation are focused on controlling your cycle. You will likely be put on Birth Control pills and Lupron to regulate the cycle to a trackable and understood timeline. After that, Estrogen & Progesterone are prescribed to prepare the uterus and uterine lining to increase the likelihood that the embryo sticks.

Worth noting is that several of these medications will need to be delivered via injection for peak effectiveness. This regimen is similar if not the same as IVF treatments, which help women with fertility issues become pregnant.

The Implantation

Once you are prepared for implantation and the embryos are ready, you will go to the clinic to become pregnant! This process can be tricky as to whether the embryo will stick, but often only one embryo will be implanted at a time unless the Intended Parents are seeking out a twin pregnancy.

Leading up to the implantation you will be asked to refrain from sex or other activities that may result in a personal pregnancy. This is in everyone’s best interest because though unlikely, it is not worth the risk to have a personal pregnancy while trying to carry someone else’s child.

The embryo will already be prepared, and we will all hope that your future pregnancy test comes back positive! It is worth noting that sometimes the embryo does not stick on the first try. This is not a personal failing but rather a risk any surrogacy journey takes. Your Intended Parents will likely have more embryos for the next attempt.

Testing

Roughly 5 days after the implantation, you will start taking home pregnancy tests to confirm the pregnancy. After a positive result is found, you will go to the clinic again to confirm your pregnancy via ultrasound. Once this part is completed, congratulations! You are pregnant!

The first three months of this pregnancy will be complicated, as it’s not guaranteed that the pregnancy will go to term. It is not likely but also not uncommon for surrogates to miscarry during this critical period. Again, this is not a personal failing. This is a relatively new science that is being improved every year.

Pregnancy

You have finally begun the surrogacy journey in earnest! Your pregnancy should progress similarly to how it has before. You will have regular check-ups with your OBGYN, appointments to make sure you are healthy and taken care of and to evaluate whether you may experience difficulties with the delivery or gestational diabetes.

Otherwise, take care of yourself the way you would if you were pregnant with your own child! Do make sure to follow the guidelines of your reproductive contract regarding lifestyle for the comfort of yourself and the Intended Parents.

The Birth

Before the birth, the Intended Parents will arrive to be with you during the first moments of their baby’s life. Babies come on their own schedule so there is a chance that they are unable to make it. The birth will happen as specified in your contract in regards to location and type (e.g. waterbirth, hospital birth, home birth) but otherwise should go as you all planned it.

After the birth, the Intended Parents will go home with their new bundle of joy, and you will head home to recover from giving the greatest gift to someone.

The surrogacy process differs from traditional births primarily in the before process of becoming pregnant, needing many more medications and specifications than a traditional pregnancy. However, you will also need to be monitored to the clinic’s specifications, which may be more appointments for the pregnancy than you had before.

If you would like to apply to become a surrogate, please fill out this form here.

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