In Vitro Fertilization Explained

In Vitro Fertilization Explained

\In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Intended parents use IVF when infertility prevents them from conceiving a child, and intended parents also use IVF to fertilize an embryo for surrogacy. During IVF, a woman’s eggs are extracted from her uterus and placed in a laboratory dish with a man’s sperm. The sperm and egg then create an embryo during fertilization.

When IVF is used for surrogacy, the fertilized embryo is transferred into the uterus of the surrogate mother and the egg develops into a baby. At Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc., we can explain the IVF process to you so you feel comfortable in your journey toward parenthood.  

Prepping for the Procedure

In the beginning stages of IVF, the woman who donates her eggs must take hormones to stimulate egg production. A doctor will perform a transvaginal ultrasound to examine the ovaries and take blood tests to check hormone levels. To help produce healthy eggs, the woman will take hormones in the form of fertility shots to the abdomen. The goal of these shots is to extract numerous eggs at once. 

Egg Retrieval 

After the initial preparation is complete, the woman will have her eggs extracted. This is a minor surgical procedure that involves minor discomfort. Typically, the doctor will provide medicine to the woman to relieve any pain, and the woman can go home on the same day of the procedure.

During the egg retrieval, the doctor will go into the ovaries and extract as many eggs as possible. Once the eggs are retrieved, the doctor places the eggs in a laboratory dish with the donated sperm. If the sperm and egg achieve fertilization, then the fertilized egg and sperm become embryos. Usually one embryo is chosen for embryo transfer, and any additional fertilized embryos can be frozen for later use. 

Embryo Transfer

If the woman who donated the eggs is trying to conceive a baby, then she will go back in three to five days after the egg retrieval to have the embryo inserted back into her uterus. If a surrogate mother plans to carry the baby, she will come in for the embryo transfer procedure.

It may take six to ten days for a positive pregnancy test to confirm that the embryo transfer procedure was successful. 

Consult an Experienced Surrogacy Agency 

At Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc., we understand that IVF is an important part of the gestational surrogacy process. We can schedule your IVF appointments for you so that your surrogate mother is included in the procedure.

It is essential to have all contracts and agreements set up before your IVF appointments, because if the embryo transfer is successful, your journey to parenthood will begin right away. If you are an intended parent hoping to use ART to conceive a child, reach out to our agency to learn more about your options. Call 412-281-9906 or click on the button at the top of the page to schedule a free consultation.

Things to Know about Becoming a Surrogate Mother

If you love the experience of being pregnant and are compelled to make a positive impact in the world, becoming a surrogate may be something you are considering. While you may have considered the physical aspects of pregnancy, understanding the surrogacy process is another thing entirely. Before committing to becoming a surrogate for another family, it is important to be fully prepared. 

Emotionally, being a surrogate mother can be draining. Not only are you dealing with your personal emotions of carrying a baby who is not your own, but you will also have to deal with the emotions of the intended parents. Additionally, there are legal aspects of the process you will need to deal with; however, surrogacy can still be extremely rewarding. 

At Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc., our goal is to help both surrogate mothers and intended parents feel at ease in their decision to create a family together. We will ensure that all parties involved feel comfortable with their decision before moving forward with any treatment. As a surrogate mother, you will want to prepare for the experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. 

Before Pregnancy

When applying to become a surrogate mother, the screening process will be lengthy, so it is important to be patient if you are truly committed. This screening process will involve both physical and emotional tests to ensure you are fully ready for what is to come. Once the agency has deemed you eligible for surrogacy, you will need to wait to be matched with the perfect family. 

You will sort out a legal surrogacy agreement with the intended parents regarding what is expected of you before and during the pregnancy. This contract may discuss selective reduction of embryos, financial compensation, prenatal appointments, abortion and miscarriage, and the birth itself. 

Before the pregnancy, you will go through fertility treatments to trigger your body’s production of eggs. You may have to administer daily fertility shots that can be uncomfortable. Oftentimes, it can take multiple tries before a surrogate mother becomes pregnant, which can make the initial stages of surrogacy one of the hardest times.

During Pregnancy

Once it is confirmed that you are pregnant with the intended parent or parents’ child, the process may become physically easier, because you have been through a typical pregnancy before. You will have to remember not to become emotionally attached to this child; however, most surrogate mothers do not have significant issues with this because they are vetted for this on the front end. 

Hormones may cause you to feel emotional about the baby at times, but if you remind yourself that pregnancy hormones are causing your change in emotions, these feelings can be handled more easily. Understanding that the intended parents are also dealing with difficult emotions may make you feel better.

After Pregnancy

After the pregnancy, you will likely be relieved and excited for the intended parents who you have given this amazing gift to. You may also feel emotional, but again, this can be due to pregnancy hormones. As time moves forward, the transition should become easier. 

Reach Out to Schedule a Free Consultation

Each surrogate will have a different contract with her intended parents, which will be written up before ever starting the pregnancy process. At Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc., we make sure all parties are fully aware of what will transpire before moving forward. If you have any questions or would like more information about becoming a surrogate, call 412-281-9906 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Ways to Ensure a Healthy Surrogate Pregnancy

If you are an individual who is hoping to use a surrogate mother to expand your family, you will likely want to ensure that the surrogate has a safe and healthy pregnancy so your baby can grow strong and free of complications.

However, when you are not the one carrying the baby, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure that your baby is healthy through their gestation. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to contribute to your growing baby’s health and safety. We go over some of the things you can do in the article below.

Working Out Your Surrogacy Contract Prior to Pregnancy

One of the best ways to contribute to a healthy pregnancy is to ensure that the surrogate mother is stress-free. You can help in this way by developing a well-thought-out surrogacy contract before your surrogate becomes pregnant.

This is important because your surrogacy contract will contain information regarding every possible detail of your surrogacy arrangement, such as what you will do if the baby develops abnormally or your surrogate mother miscarries, what extraordinary measures should be taken if there are complications during labor or delivery, and if you are going to include a pre-birth order in your contract.

With these details out of the way, your surrogate mother will not to need worry herself about what is going to happen at any point in an emergency situation.

Obtaining Proper Prenatal Care

For any pregnancy to be at its healthiest, obtaining the necessary prenatal care is crucial. As part of your surrogacy contract, you will include a portion regarding compensation for all of the surrogate mother’s prenatal care. Part of this care will include coverage of her prenatal vitamins and any other supplements your midwives, nurses, and/or obstetricians recommend.

She will typically attend one appointment each month, followed by one every week beginning the thirty-sixth week of her pregnancy. You will also need to work with your surrogate mother to decide if she will have blood testing done, an amniocentesis, or other prenatal testing as part of the pregnancy.

Stipends for Costs of Living

It is not uncommon for intended parents to cover the essential living expenses of their surrogate mother. If the surrogate has her rent/mortgage payment, utility bills, and her nutritious groceries covered, she will have peace of mind and access to an environment where she (and your growing baby!) can thrive.

Contact a Respected Surrogacy Agency

If you are ready to embark on what is sure to be one of the greatest journeys of your life, work with our respected team at Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc. Our surrogacy agency can assist you in working out how to provide the necessary living expenses your surrogate mother will need to maintain a safe and healthy pregnancy.

We will also be ready to help you build a complete surrogacy contract prior to your surrogate becoming pregnant so these critical details are decided in advance, allowing the surrogate mother to spend her energy growing your baby. You can come in for a free consultation today by clicking on the contact button above or giving our office a call at 412-281-9906.