Surrogacy is an exciting process that starts with a full medical evaluation of your surrogate. From there, the menstrual cycles of the egg donor and surrogate are coordinated in order to prepare for pregnancy. The actual embryo transfer is a very special time and probably the least clinical part of the process. We go through the embryo quality and decide which and how many to transfer. And the process of releasing the embryos can be done by the intended father or fathers.
Known worldwide for his expertise in complex reproductive matters, Dr. Kolb is one of the largest providers of egg donation and surrogacy in the United States. His practice is also known for helping to develop and implement cutting-edge technologies in the genetic screening of embryos, along with new laboratory technologies and highly efficient, patient-centric treatment. He has received the Los Angeles Magazine Super Doctors award since 2010 and the European Society of Human Reproductive and Embryology award for outstanding scientific research.
Surrogacy is an exciting part of this journey that you’re on to become parents. It’s partnering with somebody that’s going to carry that pregnancy for you. It’s your pregnancy. It’s somebody that’s helping you with this process. And it’s a very intimate relationship that you’re going to have with this very generous person that’s going to carry your pregnancy.
Your surrogate will come in for a medical evaluation. We do extensive screens on the health of the surrogate. We’ll look at her prior pregnancies to make sure that there’s no complications there that may complicate your pregnancy moving forward. We do evaluations on the uterus. It’s a very simple procedure that’s done in the office with an ultrasound. We really want to make sure that you have a healthy person that’s going to partner with you in this process to achieve that goal of becoming a parent.
So for our couples undergoing a fresh embryo transfer, it’s very important that we sync up the menstrual cycles of the donor and surrogate. Their treatment needs to be coordinated in a very specific manner. It’s a very simple process for us to do on the birth control pill that will allow us to control when the donor starts her stimulation to get the eggs to grow and will allow us to start the stimulation on the surrogate to prepare her to be pregnant.
The embryo transfer itself is a very special moment. It’s the least clinical feeling part of this process. It’s a chance for our intended parents and our surrogate to bond, to be together. We’ll go through the embryo quality. We’ll decide which embryos and how many embryos to transfer. And for our intended fathers that can be there for the transfer, it’s done very comfortably and discretely. So you can be in the room and be part of that transfer process.
So after the transfer, we put the embryos in. We’ve all shared that special time together. Your surrogate will go back home or go to her hotel if she doesn’t live close to the clinic. She’ll continue hormones for the next two weeks. It’s often a difficult time because not a lot’s happening and everybody’s a little bit anxious, on pins and needles. But two weeks after the transfer, your surrogate will go in for a pregnancy test and hopefully, we have great news to share with you.
Once a pregnancy has been achieved, the surrogate will be going through a series of blood tests. About a month after the transfer, we’ll start doing ultrasounds. The ultrasound will see if it’s a singleton, if it’s twins. That’s another great time for our intended parents and fathers to come in and be there with their surrogates. If they can’t be there, we can Skype you in. We really want this to be a bonding moment for you, your surrogate, and for your baby. We’ll continue to manage the pregnancy to the end of the first trimester.
Your surrogates can be on some hormones—estrogen and progesterone—to help encourage the pregnancy. We’ll draw her off of those hormones by the end of the first trimester and at that point, she returns to her obstetrician. Hopefully, just a routine, simple pregnancy. And even though you’ve gone through all these medical procedures, it really should be a simple, routine pregnancy. And that’s the best kind of pregnancy to have.