A surrogacy program is a complex project that requires a lot of planning and organisation as well as dedication from all parties involved in the process. In order for everything to work smoothly and to achieve a successful pregnancy it is of utmost importance that everyone follow the guidelines of the program to the letter.
To be able to achieve a good cooperation, everyone needs to know exactly what to do and when to do it. The surrogate mother, the egg donor and not least the intended parents need to be thoroughly informed about every step of the program. This is where the surrogacy or egg donor agency will step in and provide all the information needed. It is highly important that the intended parents have a clear understanding of the process of the egg donation and what it entails.
The Importance of Synchronization
When a surrogacy program with egg donation is initiated the first part is off course the egg donation. Sometimes it is the eggs of the intended mother that are being used and sometimes it is an outside donor. Regardless of who is donating the eggs the donor needs to go through a cycle synchronization. This might sound complicated but it simply means that the menstrual cycles of the donor and the recipient, in this case the surrogate mother, must be synchronized. The synchronization of the donor and the recipient’s cycles is very important since it improves the chances of succeeding with the embryo transfer and achieving a pregnancy.
When the preparation period is initiated both the surrogate mother and the donor will be required to start taking birth control pills. This will suppress the normal cycle and make it possible to synchronize the cycles of the two women and continue with the preparation according to the IVF schedule.
It is the receiver of the eggs, the surrogate mother, who’s cycle will determine when to get on and of the birth control pills. The egg donors stimulation must be synchronized with the preparation of the surrogate mother. This is because it will take more time for the surrogates endometrium to increase and thicken, than it will for the donors follicles to be stimulated. This is the reason why the surrogate mother will stop taking the birth control pills earlier than the egg donor. The surrogate mother will start several days prior to the start of the egg donors stimulation.
It is important to remember that this process is not an exact science which means that each stimulation process is individual and its length can vary. How long the period will be depends on how fast the follicles respond to the medications and the hormonal treatment in the stimulation process. On an average the donor stimulation lasts somewhere between 12- 14 days while the surrogate mother’s preparation period is slightly longer, usually 14- 17 days.
When the preparation is finished and both the donor and the surrogate are deemed ready the eggs are retrieved from the donor. They are then fertilized and cultivated in the lab for some time before being implanted in the surrogate mother.
So, like previously mentioned, it is extremely important that these preparations are carried out in an exact and precise manner in order for everything to come together and make the IVF process possible. The schedule for the IVF process and the preparation must be detailed and crystal clear. And before the program is started the intended parents must be briefed in full so that there are no misconceptions about what is supposed to happen. The slightest deviation from the schedule and the entire IVF program can be destroyed. Should this happen it would be extremely frustrating, especially after the intended parents has gotten so far in their process of becoming parents. That is why it is always better to explain everything one time too many than to risk something going wrong. Intended parents are also encourage to present the coordinators and the doctors with any questions that they might have. Should something unforeseen happen that might affect the preparation process it is absolutely vital that the the coordinator at the surrogacy agency is informed so that they can take the steps necessary for the IVF program to continue.