For those interested in becoming a surrogate mother, the question of how a surrogate mother gets pregnant is sure to cross your mind. In today’s blog we will go over this topic and discuss the process known as In Vitro Fertilization (commonly referred to as IVF).
How Do Surrogates Get Pregnant?
When asking how surrogates get pregnant it is important to clarify that this blog is focusing primarily on gestational carriers (also known as gestational surrogates), which are surrogates that carry a pregnancy for a couple or individual where the egg is from a donor, not the carriers. This is the most common type of surrogate (learn more about gestational vs traditional surrogates here).
So back to the question, how do surrogates get pregnant?
For gestational surrogates, getting pregnant is done through a process call In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In IVF, an egg is used from an egg donor and that egg is fertilized outside of the surrogate with sperm from either the intended parent or from a sperm donor. From there, the embryo (fertilized egg) is placed into the surrogate’s womb to begin the pregnancy.
Understanding the Surrogate Mother’s IVF Cycle
A clinical IVF nurse will go over your responsibilities and medication to be used to synchronize your cycle with the intended mothers or egg donors. Below is a guide as to how this will occur during the surrogate mother’s IVF cycle, along with the medication that may be used:
- You will start with Lupron to regulate you down. You will then be asked to take birth control to synchronize your menstrual cycle.
- You will have several lining checks before the embryo transfer to confirm that your uterine lining is thick enough to accept the embryo for implantation.
- You will have an embryo transfer. The embryos will be placed in the uterus with the hopes of implantation.
- You will then start taking estrogen in either a patch or pill form.
- You will have a beta test (pregnancy test) 10-14 days afterwards to confirm a pregnancy.
- You will then start using progesterone in either a suppository form or injection.
- You will have blood draws and ultrasound throughout the first 8-12 weeks to monitor the pregnancy before being released to the Ob/Gyn.
Please note, if the cycle is using frozen embryos, the clinic would then only be preparing the surrogate mother’s lining to accept the embryo for implantation.
In addition to understanding how surrogate mothers get pregnant, we have more material for you to review in the process of deciding if becoming a surrogate mother is right for you. We welcome you to read our surrogacy section on our website. There you will find pages discussing what is needed to become a surrogate mother, the surrogacy process, surrogacy requirements and more. If you do ultimately decide to become a surrogate mother, we also have a surrogacy application which you can fill out.