Francesca Steyn, Co-founder, Fertility Nurse and Clinical Lead here at My Surrogacy Journey. Read her blog as she writes about Host Surrogacy, and what to expect.
If you are a couple or single person and you are ready to start or grow your family, then My Surrogacy Journey can support you. We can help you to understand your next steps, whilst supporting you throughout the entire pathway. One of our proudest achievements are our tailored Membership Roadmaps, demonstrating inclusiveness at its finest.
Couples or single people wishing to create their families by means of surrogacy are referred to as the IP’s (Intended Parents), IF (Intended Father(s) and IM (Intended Mother(s). Your surrogate, depending on the route of treatment may be referred to as the host surrogate. This is just some of the terminology that may be used throughout your journey.
A host surrogacy arrangement occurs when embryos are created in vitro (IVF) with the sperm of an IF or sperm donor and the eggs from an IM or an egg donor. The embryo will then be transferred into the uterus of your surrogate. The IVF will take place at a licensed Fertility clinic (if in the UK) that has a specialist surrogacy programme. There are a several stages in the process;
- An IM or your egg donor will take medication that stimulates the growth of follicles (fluid filled sacs that contain eggs). Her cycle will be tracked by ultrasound scans to monitor the growth of the follicles and once they have reached the required size the clinic will trigger the release of the eggs from those follicles and perform an egg collection.
- The eggs are collected and fertilised with the sperm from the IF or sperm donor and embryos are created and cryopreserved until they are ready to be transferred to your surrogate and have met the quarantine timeframes.
- The embryo transfer for your surrogate will take place once the embryos are ready to be used and have been released from quarantine.
- A frozen embryo transfer cycle can take place with a medicated or natural cycle. The cycle will be tracked to ensure that the lining of the uterus is thickening and that ovulation occurs if proceeding with a natural cycle.
After the embryo transfer has taken place, advice will be given to you all about when to test for pregnancy and further medication instructions. Your MSJ coordinator and Fertility Mentor will also provide further information and support throughout this process and beyond.
Some Fertility Clinics offer an early pregnancy scan which will take place approximately at approximately 6-7 week gestation and then you will all be discharged over to the GP to begin your ante-natal care, in the NHS.
Prior to all surrogacy arrangements, there are a number of investigations and tests that you will be required to complete, if you are going to have your treatment at a fertility clinic. These include screening and testing for the IP’s, IF, IM, egg donors and surrogates. This will be outlined by our MSJ Fertility Nurse, your MSJ coordinator and also at the Fertility Clinic where treatment took place at.