In gestational surrogacy, the Surrogate mother undergoes in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer to become pregnant with the Intended Parents’ child. In order to maximize IVF success rate, it is important to retrieve a good number of high quality eggs from the Intended Mother; however, anytime an Intended mother is able to use her own eggs for gestational surrogacy, the cycling process is a new and sometimes nerve-racking experience. Understanding the steps taken in the cycling process and how they work is a great first step to gaining peace of mind, both for the Intended Parents and Surrogate alike.
- Synchronization. Once the contracts and initial testing are complete, the Surrogate and Intended Mother will begin synchronizing their cycles. This is generally achieved by using birth control pills. After 14 days of using birth control pills, both the Surrogate and Intended Mother will start injections of Lupron to shut down the body’s normal hormone production. Lupron is used to control the cycle and ensure that the Surrogate’s uterus will be ready to receive the embryos at the right time for optimal success.
- Hormones. When the menstrual cycle begins, Lupron doses will be decreased by half. This other half will be replaced with Estrogen in the form of pills, patches, or shots to suppress male hormones. On the third day of her cycle, the Intended Mother will begin taking injectable fertility hormones to stimulate her ovaries to produce several eggs instead of the normal one or two. These fertility hormone injections will continue for 7-12 days depending on the Intended Mother’s response to them. She will be checked with ultrasounds and blood tests approximately three times per week for monitoring. Once the follicles are the correct size, she will be given a shot to induce egg maturation. 36 hours after this shot is given, egg retrieval will be performed.
- Egg retrieval. The Intended Mother will be sedated during the egg retrieval process so she will not feel any pain. A needle attached to an internal ultrasound probe will be inserted into the vagina to help the doctor locate the ovarian follicles. The needle will puncture each follicle and a gentle suction will be applied to remove the egg and fluid within the follicle. The retrieved eggs will then be fertilized with sperm and incubated for 2-5 days before IVF occurs for the Surrogate.
Although it may seem overwhelming, the cycling process is a relatively quick process on your journey to having the baby of your dreams. Working with the right surrogacy agency can help make this process as worry free as possible so you can focus on the big picture – preparing for motherhood! If you are looking for more information on how to make your dreams of becoming a mother a reality, please contact Surrogate Solutions today.