While the medical surrogacy process is a personal and individual experience, you do not have to go it alone. Southern Surrogacy will be available through each step of the way to ensure you have the information and support you need.
Learn more here about what to expect during the medical surrogacy process.
The Medical Process for Surrogates
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate becomes pregnant through a procedure called in vitro fertilization (IVF). An embryo will be created in the laboratory and transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, and she will not be genetically related to the child.
Below, find additional details about the four steps of the IVF process for gestational carriers.
1. Ensure you are healthy and physically ready for surrogacy.
Prior to beginning the medical surrogacy process, you will undergo medical screening to ensure you are healthy enough to carry a surrogate pregnancy. In addition to a standard physical and bloodwork, you will have an ultrasound to examine your uterus. Your spouse or partner may also need to complete bloodwork to check for infectious diseases.
In addition to this medical screening, you will also need to complete certain psychological and social evaluations and ensure you meet all requirements to be a surrogate with Southern Surrogacy.
2. Complete the embryo transfer.
The doctor may use birth control pills and other hormones to regulate your cycle. This gives the doctor more control over your cycle and ensures you are ready to receive the embryos at the exact right time.
At this point in the surrogacy process, you will likely be taking progesterone injections and estrogen replacements to help maintain your hormone levels and support a stable pregnancy. You will continue taking these hormones until the 12th week of pregnancy, when the placenta generally takes over hormone production.
The embryo transfer procedure will take place when the embryos have grown for five days and you are five days past mid-cycle. The embryo(s) will be transferred using a catheter, which is inserted through the cervix into the uterus.
The procedure is relatively quick and painless, and you will not be under anesthesia. However, you may need to rest for a few days after the embryo transfer.
3. Return to the clinic to confirm that you are pregnant.
About a week after the embryo transfer, you will return to the fertility clinic so the doctor can measure your pregnancy hormone levels. An HCG count of 50 or higher indicates a positive, stable pregnancy, and a count over 200 may indicate a multiple pregnancy. The doctors will do another HCG test a few days later to ensure that these levels are continuing to rise; they should double every two days.
It is important to remember that multiple embryo transfers may be required before a surrogate pregnancy is achieved. You will continue to be closely monitored throughout this process, and your Southern Surrogacy case manager is always available to provide any additional support or information you may need.
4. Complete the six-week ultrasound and begin prenatal care.
Once a successful embryo transfer takes place, the doctor will perform an ultrasound around the sixth week of pregnancy. If a heartbeat is heard during the ultrasound, you may be released to your own OB/GYN, or you may complete another ultrasound around 12 weeks before being released from the fertility clinic’s practice to your own OB/GYN.
At this point in the process, you will continue to receive prenatal care as you would with any other pregnancy. However, you may have more frequent appointments to ensure the pregnancy is still stable, especially if you are carrying multiples.
Learn More about the Medical Surrogacy Process
The medical surrogacy process is an exciting time, both for you and the intended parents. However, it can also be daunting and stressful at times. Remember that you are not alone during the medical process — not only will you have a dedicated team of expert fertility specialists working with you, but you will also have the support of the intended parents and the Southern Surrogacy staff.
For more information about the medical surrogacy process, or to receive the support you need during your pregnancy, contact Southern Surrogacy to get started.