Surrogacy Program Medical Information
In our program, everyone must be tested. Regardless of where the genetics of the child we are all creating come from, all parties must be have social disease testing. This may include the surrogate mother and her partner, the intended mother and the intended father, and the egg donor and egg donor's partner. Our priority is to minimize any risk to our surrogate mother and to the unborn child. PHASE 1: TO BEGIN THE PROCESS
* Medical screening will be done by an infertility specialist who is knowledgeable in the field of third party reproduction. Your screening will include a thorough examination that involves a physical and lab testing for sexually transmitted diseases. The diseases that you will be screened for include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, HTLV-1, Syphilis, Herpes, (a positive test for herpes does not exclude your participation in our program), and blood type and RH factor. You are also screened for certain viruses, that can seriously affect the health of an unborn child. Cultures are then done to screen for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and certain common bacterial infections that can affect fertility. A urine drug screen is also performed to detect the presence of certain prescription and illegal drugs. Once your test results are received, your husband/partner is sent for screening which includes Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, HTLV-1, Syphilis, and a urine drug screen. All billing for this medical screening will be sent directly to CSP. You are not expected to pay for lab tests or medical charges.
* We assist you in monitoring your cycle. Depending on the program you are in, you are given charts that are customized to help you keep track of all medical procedures. You are sent folic acid and booklets to help you learn about the medical procedures to come. If you are in the AI program, we send you ovulation kits to help determine when you ovulate in your cycle. We will also provide you with pregnancy tests once cycling with your couple has begun.
* Testing positive for a specific test, does not automatically result in exclusion from participating in surrogacy. For example, exposure to Herpes will not exclude you from the program. The vast majority of people will test positive for past exposure to herpes. In fact, many people who have never had an outbreak will test positive. If your testing shows you have been exposed to herpes, another test will be done to determine if you are in a current outbreak. If you are, you will be retested several weeks later to make sure your outbreak has passed. PHASE 2: THE MATCHING PROCESS
* Once you and your couple have agreed to help one another, we have an official "match". It is at this time that your couple goes for their medical screening. When your couple joined the program several months before meeting you, they tested for HIV and Hepatitis C. Now they must take these tests again along with Hepatitis B, HTLV-1, Syphilis, Herpes, Blood type and RH, and cultures for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and bacterial infection. A urine drug screen is also performed. Your medical results, along with your couple's, are reviewed by the fertility specialist. We encourage you and your couple to review all medical test results. Medical procedure can only begin once all testing is completed. PHASE 3: MEDICAL PROCEDURES
* Whether you choose Artificial Insemination or In-vitro Fertilization surrogacy, you will be guided through the medical protocol by the fertility specialist and our medical coordinator.
* Artificial Insemination: You will be monitoring your cycle with ovulation kits and charts provided by CSP. You will be calling the medical coordinator with your "day one" which is the first day of your menstrual cycle. CSP will provide you and your couple with printed information which will teach you timing, communication, and hints to maximize success. Your doctor will monitor you closely with ultrasound to pinpoint the exact time of ovulation to insure the greatest chance of pregnancy. The procedure itself will take place in the doctor's office using intrauterine insemination. This involves injecting the semen directly into the uterus, which also improves the chance of conception. The sperm used may be fresh, frozen or preserved with a medium called "Test Yolk Buffer" which allows couples to ship fresh semen overnight! Your couple has gone through all of their medical testing before any inseminations take place, including two separate tests for HIV for your protection.
* In Vitro Fertilization: The goal in third party IVF is to correctly time the medical procedures with you and your couple. Your main contact will be with the IVF Nurse Coordinator, because you will be monitored closely by your fertility specialist. He will use medications, blood tests and ultrasounds to determine the time of embryo transfer. At the same time, the specialist will use medication to stimulate the egg donor to produce about 12 to 15 eggs. Two days before your transfer, the doctor will aspirate the eggs from the mother, fertilize them and incubate them for two days. The transfer itself involves a slim flexible catheter inserted through your cervix into your uterus. Two to four embryos are transferred, and you must go on bed rest for two days to help implantation. You will continue to be on medication for several weeks should pregnancy occur.