Journey FAQs

ART – Assisted Reproductive Technology

BCP – Birth Control Pill

BETA – Blood Test for Pregnancy after Transfer

DET – Dual Embryo Transfer

DPT – Days Post Transfer

ED – Egg Donor

EDD – Estimated Due Date

FET – Frozen Embryo Transfer

GC – Gestational Carrier

HCG – Human chorionic gonadotropin

HPT – Home Pregnancy Test

HSC – Hysteroscopy

IF / IM – Intended Father / Intended Mother

IP – Intended Parent

IVF – In Vitro Fertilization

LMP – Last Menstrual Period

OBGYN – Obstetrics & Gynecology

P4 – Progesterone

PBO – Pre Birth Order

PIO – Progesterone in Oil

RE – Reproductive Endocrinologist

SET – Single Embryo Transfer

SubQ – Subcutaneous Injections

TS – Traditional Surrogate

VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

The Surrogacy Contract, also called a Gestational Carrier Agreement, is a lengthy document outlining all of the terms agreed upon by the Intended Parents and the Surrogate.  The contract should be drafted by an attorney experienced in surrogacy that understands all of the complex issues that commonly occur in surrogacy arrangements.  The Surrogate should also have independent legal counsel representing her best interests who can ensure that the terms are balanced and fair.

The contract is one of the most important components of the process because it clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties.  The intention of outlining every detail possible is to minimize misunderstandings and conflicts during the journey, while protecting everyone involved.  It addresses compensation and benefits owed to the Surrogate, the Surrogate’s medical risks and responsibilities throughout the process, agreement on issues pertaining to medical decisions such as termination and selective reduction, and even expectations regarding communication during and after the process.

Birth Control Pills

In addition to avoiding an unplanned natural pregnancy after committing to the Surrogacy process, taking birth control before IVF allows the fertility clinic to control the timing of a Surrogate’s menstrual cycle in preparation for starting medications. Many clinics will recommend starting a birth control as soon as medical screening is scheduled. A sample IVF calendar with birth control pills looks almost identical to one that doesn’t.

Estrogen/Estradiol/Estrace

This hormone will almost always be included in your list of medications, and will be what builds your lining for a little embryo to have a place to grow. While usually prescribed as a pill, it can also be administered in the form of injections or patches.

Lupron/Leuprolide acetate

If you research this one, you’ll see that it’s used for a multitude of treatments. For the purposes of IVF, it suppresses your body’s ability to ovulate short term. This is administered as an injection only.

Doxycycline/Azythromicin/Tetracycline

Antibiotics are prescribed as a preventative measure, and is meant to fight off any underlying infection or bacteria that could interfere with implantation.

Medrol/Methylprednisolone

This steroid may be prescribed right before embryo transfer. It is prescribed to prevent inflammation of the uterine lining and the body’s rejection of the embryo.

Progesterone/Crinone/Prometrium/Endometrin

This hormone is vital and what makes the embryo stick to the uterine wall after it’s been transferred safely into the Surrogate. If pregnancy is achieved, it will be taken for another 8-10 weeks until the placenta can naturally support the baby. While it can be taken as a pill or vaginal suppository, it is most commonly taken as in intramuscular injection once a day.

Interested to see what a common medication and appointment calendar looks like?

When you are approximately 20 weeks pregnant, the attorney will begin to draft the parentage orders to ensure a smooth legal process upon delivery. Your Case Manager will forward you and your Intended Parents a Parentage Worksheet at that time, which will be provided to the attorney drafting the orders.

Your birth plan is a document that both the surrogate and the Intended Parents make their wishes known for labor and delivery support, as well as postpartum support. This document is provided to the hospital Social Worker prior to the surrogate being admitted for signs of labor. 

Sample IVF Calendar