In-Vitro fertilization (IVF) is a widely used form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). This is when an egg is fertilized with sperm using surgical procedures, then placed in the uterus.
Surrogacy has come a long way since it began in biblical times. Traditional surrogacy was the only option during this era, which meant the surrogate was the biological mother to the baby. Times and technology have changed immensely since then. In current times, the surrogate mother is the gestational carrier, meaning she has no biological ties to the child she is carrying. This is made possible using in vitro fertilization.
What are the steps?
The IVF cycle begins with the Intended Parents creating an embryo to be transferred to the surrogate. This is achieved by the Intended Mother taking fertility medication in order to produce eggs. The eggs are retrieved by her doctor, then fertilized with sperm in the lab. Once fertilized they turn into embryos. The entire process will be monitored by the lab to ensure they develop correctly.
Three to five days post-fertilization an embryo will be placed in the uterus of the surrogate. This is done by inserting a thin tube through the cervix into the uterus. The embryos will then attempt to attach to the lining of the uterus.
Surrogates will rest for a day after the embryo transfer to give it the best chance of attaching. Pills or daily shots of progesterone may be necessary for the first 8-10 weeks after transfer to aid in the survival of the embryo.
A blood test will be administered about two weeks after the embryo is transferred. It will measure the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). If this is found in the blood it generally means the surrogate is pregnant.