The Medical Surrogacy Process
How Does a Surrogate Get Pregnant? [4 Steps]
Gestational Surrogacy and Pregnancy
Gestational carriers become pregnant through a carefully coordinated surrogacy medical process.
- You must first meet specific physical and psychological requirements
- Your surrogacy professional and fertility clinic coordinate the medical process
- You will go through a quick and painless medical procedure for implanting an embryo
When asking, “How does a surrogate get pregnant?” it’s important first to understand what it takes to become a qualified surrogate candidate.
You can find out if you meet the initial requirements by completing this online form to connect to a surrogacy professional.
You can also find a complete guide to the surrogacy medical process by taking this link.
Until then, continue reading for information on how surrogate mothers get pregnant.
How Do Surrogates Become Pregnant? Gestational vs. Traditional Surrogacy
If you’re new to the idea of becoming a surrogate, your knowledge of surrogacy might be limited to what’s known as “traditional surrogacy.”
In traditional surrogacy, you would become pregnant by artificial insemination, using your eggs with the sperm of the intended parent. This procedure is performed by a fertility doctor in a medical setting.
In this type of surrogacy, you would have a genetic link to the child.
As surrogacy has changed as to build families, reputable agencies and professionals have gone from traditional surrogacy programs.
Cases like “Baby M” create emotional challenges and the potential for complex parental rights battles.
Now, agencies typically only offer gestational surrogacy programs.
What is Gestational Surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy is different from traditional surrogacy in that you are what’s called the “gestational carrier.”
Simply put, you are the carrier of an embryo created by the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or that of a donor, meaning you have no genetic link to the child.
The benefit of gestational surrogacy is the initial screening process allows agencies to work with only qualified candidates and surrogates that choose to become carriers for the right reasons.
It also eliminates and potential for parental rights issues during pregnancy and after the baby’s birth.
In gestational surrogacy, qualified candidates choose this journey for reasons such as:
- Wanting to give intended parents a chance at having a child
- The desire to once again experience pregnancy
- The opportunity to share a lifelong bond and build a relationship with the intended parents
- Financial benefits
- And more
So, what does pregnancy look like for gestational carriers?
How Does a Surrogate Become Pregnant? [The Medical Process]
Remember, you can always reach out to a surrogacy professional to get more in-depth information on the surrogacy medical process. They can immediately answer your questions for, “How does a surrogate get pregnant?”
Before knowing the differences between traditional and gestational surrogacy, many prospective surrogates often ask, “Does surrogacy involve intercourse?”
The answer is no.
As a gestational carrier, you will undergo a lengthy medical process that never involved intercourse but does include several important medical steps.
First, you will participate in an in-depth screening process to ensure you are a qualified candidate for pregnancy. Before addressing your question, “How does a surrogate become pregnant?” you will need to meet specific requirements to become a surrogate.
These are just some of the requirements you must meet to move forward in the surrogacy process:
- A healthy BMI
- Between the ages of 21-40
- At least one previous successful pregnancy
- No major complications from previous pregnancies
- No untreated STDs
- No smoking, drug use or exposure to second-hand smoke
- No use of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications for the last 12 months
- And more
Once you’ve met all requirements for surrogacy, you can move to the next step involving fertility medications to prepare your body for pregnancy.
Step 1: Preparing Your Body
With the help of an experienced fertility professional, you will begin taking a variety of fertility medications and hormones to control your cycle and prepare your uterus for the best possible chance of pregnancy.
Every surrogate is different, and your medical professional will prepare your body with medications specific to your circumstances. By taking this link, you can find a complete guide to surrogacy medications.
Step 2: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Embryo Transfer
When your fertility professional determines your uterus is ready for a healthy pregnancy, the eggs and sperm of the intended parents (or donor) have already combined to create an embryo.
The embryo is implanted into your uterus through IVF for pregnancy through a relatively quick and painless procedure.
You can find a complete breakdown of this procedure here. Although the procedure doesn’t require heavy anesthesia, you will be required to rest for a few days after.
Step 3: Confirming the Pregnancy
After a week or two, your fertility professional will test for a positive pregnancy. Checking HCG and hormone levels determines a successful transfer and implantation.
If those levels are positive, your professional will schedule additional blood tests and ultrasounds to confirm the pregnancy. Once a heartbeat is heard, you can move forward with prenatal care, typically with your regular OB-GYN.
Because it may take several embryo transfers to achieve a positive pregnancy, you and the intended parents will decide how many attempts will be made when drafting your legal surrogacy contract.
Step 4: Continue Prenatal Care
After confirming the pregnancy, prenatal care, regular visits with your doctor and maintaining a healthy pregnancy through best practices will be your focus until labor and delivery.
Depending on your location relative to the intended parents, they may attend your medical appointments.
Your interactions with the intended parents are determined when drafting your legal contract.
The surrogacy process is lengthy and involves many steps, but you can have peace of mind knowing your surrogacy professional will be with you every step of the way.
So, how do surrogates become pregnant? Through a carefully planned and professional medical process to ensure you are ready for gestational pregnancy giving the intended parents the best chance at a successful surrogacy.
Your decision to become a surrogate is heroic, and you’re giving an intended parent a life-changing gift.
While the process may seem daunting, it’s worth it because, in the end, you’ll experience the incredible moment where the intended parents get to hold their child for the first time.
Want more information on how surrogate mothers get pregnant? Complete this form to connect to a surrogacy professional today.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.