Medical Process for Surrogates

In order to get pregnant for your intended parent(s), you will need to undergo In Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF.  IVF is a medical process that matches your cycle with the intended mother’s or the egg donors.  IVF involves collecting eggs (from the intended mother or from an egg donor), fertilizing those eggs with the intended father’s sperm (or with donor sperm), and then transferring the embryos into your womb where they will hopefully implant and stick around for the next 9 months or so.  IVF treatment is often successful, though, it may take more than one try.

You may be wondering how everything will come together. While every doctor’s protocol is slightly different and treatments are adjusted for your individual needs, here is a step-by-step breakdown of what generally takes place during an IVF treatment cycle.

The cycle before your IVF treatment is scheduled, you may be put on birth control pills. This may seem backward — aren’t you trying to get pregnant? However going on the pill means that the doctor is able to sync your cycle with the intended mother’s cycle, plus it can also prevent the incidence of ovarian cysts.

The first official day of your treatment cycle is the day you get your period.  On the second or third day of your period, you will start taking medication that will prepare your womb to receive the embryos. You will need to visit the doctor two or three times over the next two weeks so that the doctor can monitor your progress and check that the medication is doing what it is supposed to be doing. You will also have a few blood tests done during this time.

At around day 14 of your cycle (plus minus a few days), the doctor will instruct you to stop taking the one type of medication and start taking another kind.  This to indicate to your body that it nows needs to move to the latter part of the cycle, to get ready for the embryos.  Three to five days later, you will need to go into the clinic for embryo transfer which is a painless procedure that involves the doctor using a soft, thin catheter to transfer the embryos to your uterus.

After the procedure you will go home to rest and two weeks later you will do the pregnancy test!

The whole IVF process is not painful, however there are a few not-so-nice bits:

  1. You might need to have daily injections of the hormone medication.  In your bum! You soon get used to the little prick
  2. The hormones might make you feel like you have a case of PMS, but luckily it is not long lasting and hopefully you wont turn into too much of a fire-breathing dragon.
  3. You will need to attend 4-5 appointments during the IVF process, but the doctors treat you as VIPs and you should be in and out of the clinic pretty quickly.