When you become a surrogate, you will undergo several medical procedures during your surrogacy medical process. The different surrogacy treatments you may have can seem overwhelming and frightening, but your medical and surrogacy professionals will always explain them to you before you begin.
However, know that many surrogacy medical professionals will not allow you to start your medical surrogacy process until you have finalized a legal surrogacy contract with a surrogacy attorney. The Parker Herring Law Group PLLC can help you and your intended parents complete this step when you call our law firm at 919-861-1860.
Even if you have not yet found intended parents or started the surrogacy process, you may want to know exactly what the surrogacy medical process entails. Below, find the seven steps you can expect if you become a surrogate.
- Medical Screening
Before you begin your surrogacy medical process (and before you even locate intended parents), you should complete surrogate medical screening. This screening will ensure that your body is ready for the physical challenges of the surrogacy medical process.Typically, this screening includes exams and procedures such as:
- Pap smear and physical
- Bloodwork to test you and your partner for infectious and communicable diseases
- Hysteroscopy, which determines the size and shape of your uterus and the quality of your fallopian tubes
- Saline sonogram
Some of this surrogate medical screening may be completed by your professional before you are matched with intended parents, while other steps may be completed by the intended parents’ fertility clinic.
- Mock Cycle
Before you can prepare for the embryo transfer process, you will usually complete a mock cycle. A mock cycle involves a reproductive endocrinologist putting you on the same medications you will take for the real transfer and then checking to ensure your body is responding as expected. You can expect ultrasounds and bloodwork during this step of the surrogacy medical process.If your hormone levels and uterine lining respond appropriately, your medical professional will begin preparing you for the embryo transfer process.
- Fertility Medication
What your preparation for the embryo transfer will look like will depend upon if the intended parents are using a fresh or frozen cycle. Most intended parents use frozen cycles, in which their embryos are already made and transferred in the middle of your natural cycle. However, if you are undergoing a fresh cycle, your menstrual cycle must be synced with that of the intended mother or egg donor.As part of this process, you will take medications to allow your doctors control over your cycle. You may need to take birth control pills and self-injections of Lupron. Once your cycle is monitored and regulated, the embryo transfer can be scheduled.
- Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer process is the aspect through which IVF and surrogacy meet. An already created embryo will be transferred to your uterus in a fairly quick and painless procedure under the supervision of the intended parents’ fertility clinic.Your doctor will inform you when to stop taking your fertility medication and begin taking progesterone and estrogen, which will help regulate your hormones during the early stages of your pregnancy. You will then travel to the intended parents’ fertility clinic for the embryo transfer procedure.
As agreed upon in your surrogacy contract, one or two embryos will be transferred to your uterus using a syringe with a catheter on the end. After the procedure is finished, you may be required to stay at the fertility clinic for the night and rest for a few days for the best chances of a successful transfer.
- Confirmation of Pregnancy
About nine days after your surrogacy IVF transfer has been completed, you will return to the intended parents’ fertility clinic to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test. This test will measure your HCG levels and, if they double every two days, you will be confirmed pregnant.Around the sixth week of your pregnancy, you will also undergo an ultrasound to test for a heartbeat. If the fertility clinic hears a heartbeat, you may be released to your local OBGYN for the rest of your pregnancy. You will also start receiving your monthly surrogate compensation after a confirmed heartbeat.
Depending on your fertility clinic and agreement with the intended parents, you may have another ultrasound at 12 weeks.
- Prenatal Care
You will work with your local OBGYN during your pregnancy, and they will provide you the prenatal care you need. The intended parents may join you for important appointments, if it has been agreed upon in your surrogacy contract.You may have more frequent appointments with a surrogate pregnancy than you would with a traditional pregnancy, but your medical and travel costs will always be covered by the intended parents. Some contracts also provide compensation for childcare while you are attending medical appointments.
You and the intended parents will both be present for your hospital delivery, which will be planned out by your surrogacy specialist or on your own. In most surrogacies, intended parents will be present in the delivery room and stay in the hospital with their baby after he or she is born. Once you and the baby are discharged from the hospital (usually at different times), your surrogacy journey will be complete, and you will receive the remainder of your surrogate base compensation.
While every woman’s surrogacy medical process will be slightly different, your own surrogacy treatments will usually follow the steps outlined above. Speak with a surrogacy or fertility specialist to learn more about what your personal surrogacy medical process will look like.
Remember, you cannot begin your IVF surrogacy procedure and medical process without a finalized surrogacy contract. To complete that step, please contact the surrogacy attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC today.