Updated: Jul 14
Whether you are interested in becoming a surrogate mother or growing your family through surrogacy, the most common question that arises at the beginning of the process is: How does a surrogate mother get pregnant? Here you will find a summary of the process, so you can clearly understand it from beginning to end.
Traditional vs. gestational surrogacy.
The way the mother gets pregnant varies depending on which type of surrogacy they choose to embark on. There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.
Both surrogacy methods are viable and safe; however, there are differences in the process of getting pregnant and in the genetic relationship between the surrogate mother and the surrogate baby.
Traditional surrogacy, also known as genetic surrogacy, is where the surrogate mother donates her eggs and is artificially inseminated using the sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor.
Gestational surrogacy, also known as host surrogacy or IVF surrogacy, is where the surrogate mother doesn’t provide the eggs used in the conception. Instead, the embryo is created via in vitro fertilization (IVF), using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors, and then is transferred to the surrogate mother.
How does a traditional surrogate mother get pregnant?
A traditional surrogate gets pregnant through intrauterine insemination (IUI). IUI is a type of artificial insemination. During this procedure, the doctor places the intended father or donor sperm directly into the uterus using a small catheter, where the woman is most fertile.
This treatment aims to increase the quantity of healthy sperm reaching the fallopian tubes, improving the probabilities of fertilization. After that, natural fertilization of the egg occurs in the surrogate's uterus, and if everything goes well, this process produces the conception and normal pregnancy.
Traditional surrogacy is the least common method of surrogacy used today. In this surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate mother is the baby's biological mother. Therefore, a surrogacy contract is necessary before starting the process.
How does a gestational surrogate mother get pregnant?
A gestational surrogate gets pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is an assistive reproductive technology where eggs and sperm are combined in vitro (“in glass”) in a laboratory outside the gestational carrier's body to produce an embryo or embryos.
The gestational surrogacy process has five stages:
First, the intended mother or egg donor takes fertility medications to promote ovulation. Then, the doctor collects the mature eggs from the woman with a transvaginal ultrasound aspiration procedure.
Second, sperm is collected from the intended parent or sperm donor.
Specialists take the sperm and use it to fertilize the eggs in a lab. The embryo grows for a couple of days in the lab.
The doctor transfers the embryo or embryos to the surrogate mother's uterus at a fertility clinic. The doctor uses a catheter with a syringe that contains the fertilized egg in a fluid. The specialist inserts the catheter through the vagina and cervix until it reaches the uterus and inserts one or more embryos.
Finally, after the embryo is inserted into the uterus, it needs to implant itself into the uterine wall. If the eggs implant successfully, the pregnancy occurs. If the eggs fail to implant, the procedure must start again.
Due to of the modern advances in medical science, gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy used today.
How does a surrogate mother get pregnant?
If you want to be a surrogate mother, we hope this article has helped you understand at a general level how a surrogate mother gets pregnant. If you want more information about the surrogacy program process, contact us!
First Step Surrogacy has helped many families unable to carry a pregnancy for different reasons, finding a surrogate and arranging all the surrogacy process. We are a surrogacy agency based in Miami, Florida.
If you feel ready to start a surrogacy process with us or have doubts, contact our surrogacy professionals, that can answer your questions and take you by the hand throughout this process.