The Surrogacy Process
Once a match has been made between the prospective parents and surrogate mother, all screenings must be successfully completed before the surrogacy cycle begins. This screening may either be done at the prospective parents’ clinic, or Surrogacy America can arrange for it to be carried out at a clinic more convenient to the surrogate mother. The actual cycle will take approximately six weeks to complete.
The surrogate mother screening may include the following:
Medical Screening: This consists of a series of blood tests, pap smear, and ultrasounds. Each fertility clinic has different requirements for surrogate mother testing.
Clinics may require a mock cycle, where the IVF physician prescribes the same medication the surrogate mother would be on for the embryo transfer and checks the uterine lining response to the medication. Clinics may also require a hysteroscopy, or an exam of the uterine cavity through a thin scope inserted through the cervix.
Psychological Screenings: This is done by a psychologist or social worker to ensure that the surrogate mother is aware of all the implications of the surrogacy process.
- Partner Screening: If the surrogate mother has a sexual partner, the partner may also be required to undergo blood tests to screen for sexually transmitted diseases.
The surrogate mother’s cycle will be synchronized with the egg donor’s cycle through birth control pills. The surrogate mother will begin Lupron injections to stop her body’s regular hormone production.
The surrogate mother will start taking estrogen after her menstrual cycle starts. The surrogate mother will be closely monitored so that the IVF physician can determine when her uterine lining is thick enough to receive the embryos. On the embryo transfer day, 1-3 embryos will be inserted into the surrogate mother’s uterine cavity. The surrogate mother will be on bed rest for 24-48 hours after the embryo transfer.
- Eleven to fourteen days after the embryo transfer, the surrogate mother will take a quantitative HCG blood test where the pregnancy hormone is measured. If there is a pregnancy, an ultrasound is done at 6 weeks.
This is a brief overview of the surrogacy process. The physicians and program directors will go over the entire process of becoming a surrogate with each individual candidate, including the potential risks and complications of surrogacy.