Starting the surrogacy process is an exciting time. Egg retrieval is a major part of the process and the intended mother should be prepared.
Before beginning the process of egg retrieval several screenings are required. These include:
- Ovarian reserve testing (blood tests to determine the quantity and quality of your eggs and how your ovaries will respond to fertility medication)
- Mock embryo transfer (determines the depth of your uterine cavity and the technique that is needed to most likely result in a successful embryo transfer)
- Infectious disease screening (HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C).
The intended mother undergoes a process very similar to in-vitro fertilization. The egg-retrieval process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks to complete and includes: 2-to-4 weeks of self-administered hormone injections and birth control pills to temporarily turn off natural hormones and 10-to-14 days of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs.
Once the eggs have matured, a needle under ultrasound guidance removes them while the intended mother is under sedation. After retrieval, the eggs are fertilized and transferred to the surrogate. Sometimes they are immediately frozen until the intended mother has found a surrogate and is ready to attempt pregnancy.
Afterwards, a series of medications are prescribed, which may include an antibiotic to prevent infection, a steroid to reduce any inflammation in the reproductive organs, and hormonal supplements to provide extra support to theendometrial lining. It is important to take these medications exactly as prescribed. Also, refraining from sexual intercourse for a period of time, avoiding submerging yourself in water (bubble baths), and using a pad instead of tampons are advised.