Surrogacy is an extraordinary journey filled with unique experiences and responsibilities. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, understanding surrogacy procedures like medications, injections, and the embryo transfer is vital. This guide focuses on what surrogates can and should expect, offering in-depth insights into these essential components of the surrogacy journey.
1. Surrogacy Procedures: Medications and Injections (The Preparation Phase 4-6 Weeks)
Understanding the Importance
As a surrogate, your body must be prepared for pregnancy, and this is where medications and injections come into play. They help create the optimal environment for the embryo to implant and grow.
Specific Types of Surrogacy Medications for Surrogates
- Hormonal Medications: These include estrogen and progesterone to help regulate your menstrual cycle and thicken the uterine lining. These may require daily administration at specific times, either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.
- Vitamins – These include Vitamin D and prenatal vitamins
- Antibiotics – Some (but not all) clinics will prescribe antibiotics for a few days before/after the transfer to limit the possibility of infection.
Monitoring: What to Expect
Expect regular appointments with healthcare providers for blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor your body’s response to the medications and make necessary adjustments. Most of these appointments will be at a fertility center where you live.
2. Embryo Transfer Procedure: The Crucial Step (1-2 Days)
What is the Embryo Transfer Procedure for Surrogates?
The embryo transfer is where a fertilized embryo is placed into your uterus, and it is a central part of your surrogacy journey.
The Embryo Transfer Process: A Detailed Look
- Day of Transfer: The procedure typically occurs 3-5 days after fertilization, or if the embryo is frozen, the day the embryo is thawed.
- The Procedure: Conducted in a fertility clinic, it’s usually painless and completed within 15-30 minutes.
- Post-Transfer Care: Expect to rest and continue medications like estrogen and progesterone as directed.
3. After the Embryo Transfer: Following up
You can expect to have regular bloodwork to check your HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels. This is also commonly referred to as a “beta” test. You will have your first beta test roughly 10 days after transfer. If the first “beta” test is good, then you will have additional bloodwork every few days for a week to make sure that the pregnancy hormone levels (HCG) are rising.
If your “beta” tests continue to rise, then you will have a “heartbeat” ultrasound roughly 3-4 weeks after transfer. You will be able to see the baby’s heartbeat, and will be considered approximately 6 weeks pregnant!
It is vitally important that you continue to take ALL medications as prescribed by the fertility clinic until instructed to stop. Those medications make sure that the baby stays healthy, and stopping the medications early can cause bleeding, cramping, and miscarriage.
You will “graduate” from the fertility clinic at roughly 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, and be allowed to continue your pregnancy medical care with your own personal OB.
Being a surrogate requires an understanding of the intricate process of medications, injections, and embryo transfer procedure. Knowledge empowers you to navigate this unique and rewarding journey with confidence.