There’s a beauty to the Olympic sport of synchronized swimming, seeing two women moving in harmony with each other through the water.
Mother Nature has her own ways of synchronizing things. And one of the great synchronizations is that of childbirth. Out of nothing, a new human being is created, with every step falling into place in perfect sequence, just in time.
Mother Nature has a little problem, however, when the egg is produced in one body and then gestated in another body. Such is the case with gestational surrogacy, where one woman serves as the egg donor and another as the surrogate mother.
The egg is produced according to the monthly cycle of the egg donor, and then removed for in vitro fertilization with the intended husband’s sperm. Once an embryo is formed, it is ready to be put back. If it was simply to be replaced in the donor’s uterus, there would be no issue of timing, because that would be in Mother Nature’s caring hands.
However, the embryo is being placed in the uterus of another woman whose cycle might not be the same. And that means that the embryo might not take and the natural sequence that needs to continue in the surrogate mother’s body once the embryo is received might not go off as planned.
Unless the two women’s cycles are synchronized.
At the beginning of the process, once all the tests are complete and the two women are chosen, and once all the legal documents are signed, the first step is to synchronize their cycles. So how long does this take?
Not all that long, in fact. No longer than a cycle normally takes.
First, they both go on the birth control pill at the same time for two weeks to stop their regular cycles and put them both on an identical starting point.
The birth control pill continues for another week, as lupron injections are added to the treatment.
After three weeks, the pill is stopped, but the lupron continues for another week. That makes four weeks in total. At this point, their cycles should be synchronized.
This is the point where hormone injections are given to boost egg production in the follicles of the uterus, and a few days later the monitoring begins for the egg donor. Various tests will monitor the egg’s progress and make adjustments to hormones and medications. The testing lasts about two weeks, until the egg is ready to be retrieved from the donor.
Meanwhile, the surrogate mother, who will bear the bulk of the activity over the next nine months, has nothing to do but wait, as her cycle continues to progress in tandem with that of the donor mother.Return to Blog