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Surrogacy – The IVF Treatment Cycle​

After approval and before the embryo transfer process is the IVF treatment cycle.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is when an egg and sperm are joined together outside the body, in a laboratory. Depending on whether you use traditional or gestational surrogacy will depend on whether your egg will be used or not.

Step 1: Day 1 of the Period.

The first day of the IVF cycle is day 1 of the woman’s period who with the assistance of your fertility nurse you will be able to ascertain.

Step 2: Stimulation Phase.

The stimulation phase occurs from your first day by method of injection. Your fertility doctor will assist you in encouraging your ovaries to produce more eggs. The IVF clinic will be checking the follicles in your ovaries with blood tests, ultrasounds and reactions to medications. The final phase of this step is the “trigger injection”. The trigger injection stimulates the natural process where the eggs are released.

Step 3: Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is when the eggs are collected from your ovaries. It occurs in a hospital by a fertility specialist. They collect the fluid wherein the eggs are inside.

Step 4: Sperm

Sperm is selected for the fertilisation phase. If you’re using your own sperm, the male will produce a sample the morning of the egg retrieval. If a donor is being used, these will be made available to the laboratory. The sperm is analysed under the microscope to make sure the best, healthy sperm are selected.

Step 5: Fertilisation

The eggs that have been retrieved and the sperm are placed in a dish. They find each other and fertilise as they would inside the body.

Step 6: Embryo Development

If fertilisation occurs, it becomes what’s known as an embryo. The medical professionals make sure to utilise optimal conditions similar to what the body would use in a natural circumstance to ensure the embryo grows and develops. The embryo is watched for around 5-6 days. The goal is to have a two-to-four-cell embryo on Day 2 and a six-to-eight-cell embryo on Day 3. Please note, that not all patients will reach this stage of the IVF cycle. Nevertheless, your medical professionals will keep you up to date with every step of progress.

Step 7: Embryo Transfer

This is the most relevant step in relation to surrogacy. This is the step when the embryo itself will actually be transferred to your surrogate’s uterus, initiating the pregnancy process for her. The embryo is placed in a small tube called a catheter and is inserted through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus. It is a relatively simple and short procedure.

Step 8: Pregnancy and Blood Test

Once the embryo is transferred, a blood test is done around two weeks later on the surrogate to measure levels of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Basically what this hormone signifies is a positive pregnancy result.

Cassandra Kalpaxis

Cassandra Kalpaxis

Director