Q - Are the procedures painful?
A - During the screening process you can
expect to have your blood drawn and a
routine pelvic exam. Once you start
cycling, you will likely have several
vaginal ultrasounds which are not painful.
You may be required to have a procedure
where they insert a scope so they can get
a clear "image" of your uterus and
fallopian tubes. Most women consider this
procedure a bit uncomfortable but not
painful. The mock transfer and actual
transfer are not usually painful at all. A
speculum is used and a tiny flexible tube
is inserted into the uterine space.
Actually, most women donít even feel it.
Q - What
medications will I have to take?
A - Medical protocols vary by patient
and doctor, but there are a few
medications that are pretty commonly used
for IVF cycling. Lupron is an injectable
medication that is used to suppress your
own hormone production. It is usually
injected with a very small needle into the
fatty tissue of the belly (this is similar
to an insulin shot.) You will also need
estrogen and progesterone replacements.
These are used to prepare your uterus for
pregnancy. You will need to take these
until the end of your first trimester to
help sustain the pregnancy. These two
medications are usually given by injection
into the hip/buttocks area. Your nurse
will show you or your spouse how to give
these shots. Estrogen and Progesterone can
also be given by suppository and oral
methods, but these arenít used as often.
For the days leading up to the transfer,
it is common to take an oral form of
antibiotic and anti-inflammatory
medication to help the implantation
process. You may be prescribed Valium or
something similar for the transfer and the
following days, to help keep you relaxed
and at rest.
Q - Do I
get to pick which couple to work with?
A - Yes. You will be able to look at
profiles of intended parents that meet
your requirements. They will also be given
your profile to review. A telephone
"meeting" is only set up when both of you
are interested. You will be able to take
as long as you need to get to know each
other. Once you have both decided that you
want to work together, a match is made and
we can start working on contracts.
Q - How
long will it take to get matched?
A - It varies. You may match right away
with the first profile you receive, but
some surrogates have waited for months for
the "perfect" match. Not only should your
intended parents match your requirements
on paper, you should also feel some level
of "connection" with them once you start
getting to know each other. I encourage
you to listen to your instincts when you
meet with potential parents. Since this
process is so personal, you should be
prepared to take the extra time to make
sure you have the right intended parents
to take this journey with. This can be
such a wonderful experience for you, but
you must have intended parents who are you
are comfortable with.
Q - How
soon will we be able to transfer?
A - It could take anywhere from one to
six months before you have the transfer.
First of all, both parties should be in
agreement about the time frame they wish
to aim for. The contracts must be
finalized and all screenings must be
completed before the medical protocol can
begin. If a mock cycle is required by the
doctor, that will basically take a month
to complete. If it will be a fresh cycle,
there may be some time needed for you and
the IM or egg donor to synchronize your
cycles with birth control pills. You are
probably eager to get started, but you can
take advantage of this time and use it to
get more familiar with your intended
parents. They are probably more anxious
than you are to get to transfer, so itís a
great opportunity to start offering
supporting to each other.
Q - When
will I start my screenings?
A - Normally, you will be scheduled for
your psychological and initial medical
screening as soon as you are matched with
your intended parents. You can expect to
wait anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to get
into some fertility clinics.
Q - What
will I have to pay for?
A - You wonít pay for anything. Your
intended parents will be billed for your
screenings and for any procedures and
medications that are required for you to
get pregnant. Once you are released to
regular maternity care, any copays or
deductibles that your insurance requires
will be reimbursed by your IPís. You will
also be receiving a monthly allowance to
cover any out of pocket expenses you have
such as gas, long distance calls, postage,
home pregnancy tests, ectÖ