The medical procedure for the Embryo Transfer (ET) to the Gestational Surrogate (GS) is similar to having a Pap smear. In most cases it’s pain-free. First, your menstrual cycle and the menstrual cycle of the Intended Mother (IM) are synchronized using birth control pills and daily injections of Lupron, a drug that suppresses ovulation. If it seems scary, don’t worry! Everyone who has been through the process feels intimidated at first. Often after the first few days they’re amazed at how simple and relatively painless it is. The nurse at the reproductive clinic will talk you through the first injections, and we can always help you, too. You will also be taking Estrogen before the transfer, and the Intended Mother will be taking daily injections of fertility drugs.
During this time, the development of the Intended Mother’s eggs is monitored by daily blood work and ultrasounds. At the same time, the thickness of the lining of your uterus, which is crucial to the success of the Embryo Transfer, will be evaluated using blood tests and ultrasounds. You can expect to visit the Reproductive Endocrinologist a few times before the Embryo Transfer in order to check your uterine lining for its readiness to receive the embryo. That exam is entirely painless. Three to five days after the eggs have been retrieved from the biological Mother (or Egg Donor) and fertilized with the sperm of the biological father (or Sperm Donor), the physician will transfer the embryos to you. As we’ve noted, that procedure is something like a Pap smear, and it’s completed under sterile conditions. Depending on the physician, you may then begin progesterone injections or suppositories around this time. The choice depends on your clinic and your response to the medications.
Many clinics require a period of bed rest after the Embryo Transfer. That can range from 12 to 72 hours. The Intended Parents will expect you treat the clinician’s instructions seriously. If you need childcare to allow you to stay in bed, that will be provided as specified in your contract. Your contract will cover all such eventualities, so you will never have to worry about money to meet your surrogacy obligations. About 10 to 12 days after the embryo transfer, you’ll get a BETA pregnancy test. This will usually be done by drawing blood at the clinic or local lab.
You and your IPs will together determine how much contact you will have during the pregnancy. If you both want a lot of contact, you can arrange for frequent visits or phone calls. If you live far from each other, or if it’s your mutual wish, you may just see them for some doctors’ appointments and correspond through e-mail. If ever there are questions, changes or problems we will be there to help to resolve them. We encourage healthy and respectful relationships between the Intended Parents and Surrogate. We are committed to doing our best to make the experience rewarding for all, and believe that communication is a key factor in a good surrogacy relationship.