What Type of Surrogacy Is Right For Me?: Part One
Congratulations on making the decision to start or grow your family with surrogacy! If you are choosing surrogacy as a family-building option, it is important to decide which type of surrogacy is right for you. There are two different types of surrogacy that you can choose from – gestational or traditional. Although both of these options are a form of surrogacy that can help build your family, they are both very different. Keep reading to learn more about traditional surrogacy!
What is Traditional Surrogacy?
Traditional surrogacy is a type of surrogacy where the Surrogate becomes pregnant through Intrauterine Insemination (IUIs). This process involves using the Surrogate’s egg and sperm from the intended father or a donor. This means that the Surrogate is biologically related to the child. Due to this fact, traditional surrogacy is much less common than gestational surrogacy but it is still a viable option for Intended Parents to grow or start their families!
Who Uses Traditional Surrogacy?
Traditional surrogacy is typically pursued by single men, same-sex male couples, and women who cannot produce healthy eggs. This is because the Intended Parents will have to spend time finding an Egg Donor anyway and in traditional surrogacy, the Surrogate is also the egg donor. This allows for an even more powerful bond to form between the Intended Parents and the Surrogate! Since the Surrogate shares genetics with the child, it is common for traditional Surrogates to be close friends or relatives of the Intended Parents.
How Does Traditional Surrogacy Work?
Once the Intended Parents match with a Surrogate, all the legal documents will be drafted and signed. Traditional surrogacy is more legally complex than gestational surrogacy, since the Surrogate will share biological makeup with the child. This means that the Surrogate will be required to relinquish her parental rights once the baby is born. Once the paperwork is signed, the next step of the process can begin: pregnancy!
Traditional Surrogate: Medical Overview
Traditional Surrogates recruited by Simple Surrogacy, LLC are carefully screened by the Surrogate’s clinic of choice, using the guidelines provided by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The screening includes a detailed medical history, physical exam, comprehensive laboratory testing , as well as a medical screening. Other consultations with internists and specialists, psychologists and geneticists may also be required.
Traditional Surrogate: Simple Surrogacy Screening
At Simple Surrogacy, there is a list of requirements that all of our Traditional Surrogates must meet. This list includes:
- Initial consultation with a Reproductive Endocrinologist
- Physical examination
- Gynecological exam
- Blood count and chemistry
- Blood type and RH
- Drug toxicology
- Screening for Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasmosis
- HIV Antibody
- Hepatitis A, B and C Surface Antigen
- RPR for Syphilis
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Cervical Cultures for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Ureaplasma, and Mycoplasma
- Genetic Testing for Cystic Fibrosis, Tay Sachs Disease, Sickle Cell Disease, and Thalassemia
- FSH ‐ cycle day 2 or 3
- Group B Strep
- Hysterosalpingogram or Sono‐hysterosalpingogram
After all of the above requirements have been met, the Surrogate must attend a consultation with the IVF nurse coordinator regarding the treatment protocol, medication, and learn how to properly administer injections. The Surrogate must then review and sign all of the consent forms.
Counseling is a large part of every surrogacy journey. Counseling helps prepare all parties for the treatment, the journey, and the birth of the baby! These sessions can help ensure that everyone is confident, comfortable, and shares a mutual trust. Plus, counseling minimizes foreseeable risks which is beneficial to all parties, including the future child!
Treatment of the Traditional Surrogate’s Cycle
In general, traditional Surrogates are not required to be on any special medications. They are asked to keep track of their own menstrual cycle so that it is easier to time the inseminations around when they naturally ovulate. In some cases, Intended Parents and their Surrogate will choose to use mild fertility drugs, such as Clomid, to fine‐tune the timing of ovulation or increase the chances of twins. Through charting their basal body temperature, watching their cervical mucus, and using ovulation predictors or fertility monitors, and/or through ultrasound monitoring by a clinic, the Surrogate will be able to pinpoint when she’s most likely to ovulate and schedule the IUIs to coincide with this.
Methods of Insemination
There are a few ways to perform inseminations. Doctors may perform intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) or cervical inseminations (ICIs). This is determined by the quality of sperm, whether the sperm is fresh or frozen , and sometimes on personal preference.
Cervical Inseminations (ICIs)
When discussing ICIs, many people picture the “turkey baster” method seen in film and television. This is not the case. ICIs are completed using a small catheter to actually deposit the semen by the cervix!
Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs)
Unlike ICIs, IUIs are only completed with washed sperm . Washed sperm is semen that’s been sent through a centrifuge and spun until the seminal fluid is removed from the sperm. This leaves only the strongest swimmers . A catheter is threaded through the cervix into the uterus, and the washed sperm is inserted through it , directly into the uterus.
Regardless of the method of insemination, once the process is complete, the Surrogate will hopefully have a positive pregnancy test within 14 days!
If you’re thinking about pursuing traditional surrogacy to start or grow your family, contact the team at Simple Surrogacy. We will work with you to ensure that the process is smooth and simple for everyone involved! As long as the Surrogate and Intended Parents keep an open mind and be honest and open with one another, surrogacy can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for everyone involved!
Curious about gestational surrogacy? Check out our next blog: What Type of Surrogacy Is Right For Me: Part Two!