A Surrogate Shares her Transfer Experience
Amanda, a two-time surrogate for Extraordinary Conceptions, a California based surrogacy agency, was happy to share information about her embryo transfer experiences.
It’s important to note that every woman may have a different experience. Still, it’s nice to hear about an embryo transfer firsthand from someone who has been through it before. Well, in Amanda’s case, two times. Not every embryo transfer results in a positive pregnancy, so in some cases, a surrogate may have to undergo 2-3 transfers before she has that positive pregnancy test after the dreaded “2-week wait.”
The Embryo Transfer Process
When Amanda arrived at the clinic, she went through the appropriate paperwork before a nurse escorted her to a gently lit room where there was relaxing music playing in the background. Here, she prepared for the procedure.
Most embryo transfer rooms are kept at a cooler temperature, with soft lighting and calming music to create a peaceful environment. Before the procedure begins, surrogates are introduced to the embryologist and possibly even an ultrasonographer who will assist the physician with the surrogacy embryo transfer.
Sometimes, surrogates are given a medication like Valium to help them relax during the procedure. More importantly, it is thought to help relax the smooth muscles in the uterus to help implantation.
Amanda described it as a comfortable atmosphere. Her husband was by her side every step of the way to help ease any nervousness that she might have had.
“My doctor was very soft-spoken, encouraging, and gentle,” she said. “He explained each step he was going to take. I got to see a microscopic picture of the embryo before the transfer.”
During both the first and second surrogacy embryo transfer procedures, Amanda said she could see the transfer on a nearby monitor.
“The most beautiful moment of the transfer is when this catheter-type line enters, and this orb-like glow appears inside the uterus. It was like something just floated off into life’s beautiful creations,” she said.
For Amanda’s second surrogacy, she described the transfer similar to a feeling of warmth.
The Most Challenging Part Of An Embryo Transfer
While surrogate candidates want positive details about the embryo transfer process, they also want honest answers. One thing they want to know is what the most challenging part of the transfer entails.
For Amanda, the most uncomfortable part was having her bladder full before the procedure. For other women, it may be the fear of not knowing what to expect, or the nervous feeling that it may not work.
However, it is important to know that it doesn’t hurt! Some women do report minor discomfort from the insertion of the speculum and passing of the embryo transfer catheter. However, Amanda, like other surrogates, told us that her procedure was “less uncomfortable than a PAP smear” and that “it wasn’t bad at all.”
What to Expect After Embryo Transfer
Every doctor will have their own instructions and preferences for after the embryo transfer, resting is usually a big part of them. Some doctors will require bed rest for a couple of days after the transfer, while others are a little more relaxed with their instructions.
While Amanda’s doctors told her to rest and walk around a little after the transfer, she took it extra easy.
“I took my bed rest very seriously. I stayed in bed and tried to stay as calm and relaxed as possible,” Amanda said.
Amanda’s first surrogacy embryo transfer was unsuccessful even though she followed her doctor’s orders. Many women thinking about becoming surrogates are surprised to learn that it takes an average of three IVF transfers to achieve success.
Getting Through The Two-Week Wait
Waiting the two weeks for results is often very difficult for both surrogates and their intended parents. Many women are tempted to take one, (or a dozen!) pregnancy tests while they wait for their blood test. But it’s important to recognize that pregnancy test results may not be accurate until the blood test.
Having a negative result can also cause a surrogate to become more lax about taking her medication on time or following the other instructions, simply because they don’t believe that they are pregnant. However, it is incredibly important to follow each and every instruction until the doctor or nurse tells you otherwise.
Is a Frozen Embryo Transfer Different?
A surrogacy frozen embryo transfer is no different than a transfer that was performed from a fresh embryo; at least for the surrogate. In this type of cycle, the embryo is thawed at a specific time before the scheduled procedure. It does mean, however, that it is easier to schedule for everyone involved.
During a fresh cycle, the transfer date will be somewhat flexible, as it can depend on the intended mother or egg donor’s response to the IVF medications.
A transfer date can be selected ahead of time during a frozen cycle, allowing the nurse and physician to schedule her medication start date and other important milestones according to that date.
Surrogacy: The Right Team
Amanda believes that the surrogacy process is one of the most amazing experiences in life. Over the years, a new generation of third-party reproductive medical advances has made huge strides to help those who couldn’t have children previously to become the parents they always wanted to be.
“With the right team, positivity, and faith; anything is possible,” she said. “When people ask me about my two journeys, I tell them that dreams can and will come true through surrogacy.”
The key is having a team of experts who can help guide you through your entire surrogacy journey and who are there for you through any possible failed transfers. It’s not just about having the right agency, but also knowing that the IVF doctor and their team are dedicated to your success. If you are ready to become a surrogate mother in California, give us a call. One of our dedicated Surrogacy Admissions team members will get back to you.