1. Comprehensive Medical and Psychological Screening
Before starting the surrogacy process, intended parents and surrogates undergo extensive medical and psychological screening. This ensures all parties are healthy, informed, and ready to embark on the journey.
For surrogates, screening involves:
Full medical history and physical exam to rule out any health conditions that could complicate pregnancy. This includes checking BMI, blood pressure, etc.
Pap smear, STD tests, and cultures to confirm reproductive health.
Ultrasound, saline sonogram, or hysteroscopy to evaluate the uterus and rule out abnormalities.
Bloodwork to check hormone levels and detect any genetic or infectious diseases.
Meeting with a psychologist to discuss motivations and ensure emotional readiness.
Potential genetic screening if using the surrogate's egg.
Intended parents also complete medical histories, infectious disease screening, psychological evaluation and more based on each surrogacy program's protocols.
2. Mock Embryo Transfer Cycle
Before transferring a real embryo, surrogates undergo a mock or trial cycle. This resembles the actual process, using harmless saline solution instead of an embryo. Ultrasounds and bloodwork monitor uterine lining thickness and hormone levels. This confirms the body responds to medications needed for a successful pregnancy.
3. Initiation of Fertility Medications
Surrogates take medications to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Protocol depends if it is a fresh or frozen embryo transfer:
Fresh transfer: The surrogate's menstrual cycle is synced with the egg donor using birth control pills. Ovarian stimulation medications are administered to the donor. The surrogate receives estrogen and progesterone to optimize uterine lining.
Frozen transfer: The surrogate takes estrogen and progesterone on a schedule. This primes the uterine lining before inserting the thawed embryo.
4. Embryo Transfer Procedure
The embryo transfer is a simple, non-invasive procedure. It is similar to having a Pap smear. The doctor inserts a catheter containing the embryo(s) directly into the uterus. Then regular bloodwork and ultrasounds monitor for successful implantation, usually around days 9-12 post-transfer.
5. Confirmation of Pregnancy
Initial pregnancy detection involves blood tests measuring hCG levels around days 9-12 after embryo transfer. For a healthy pregnancy, the hCG value should double every 48 hours. Around week 5-6, an ultrasound confirms fetal heartbeat and viability.
6. Comprehensive Prenatal Care
It is crucial for surrogates to receive regular prenatal care with an experienced OBGYN. This monitors mom's health and baby's development, detecting any issues early. Many intended parents attend appointments to bond with their future child.
7. Delivery of the Baby
The surrogacy journey culminates in the incredible birth of the intended parents' baby. The surrogate and intended parents are both present to share in this amazing moment. After delivery, the baby goes home with its new family.
Embark on the Rewarding Journey of Surrogacy
While surrogacy involves numerous medical steps, Patriot Conceptions provides guidance every step of the way. Their team helps match surrogates and intended parents, provides legal support, covers medical costs, and ensures a smooth surrogacy journey for all. If you feel called to become a surrogate, contact Patriot Conceptions today to start the screening process and change lives.