Step 1. You must first decide if you are using a known surrogate (ie. Friend or relative) or you are using an agency to procure surrogate. If using a known surrogate, we will need to conduct extensive testing on the donor before they can proceed.
When using an agency for a surrogate, typically we refer you to one of our preferred partners for selection of an appropriate gestational carrier. This process involves a significant amount of time. Finding appropriate surrogates and/or gestational carriers can take time and always involves making sure that you are selecting a healthy individual with a high chance of success for becoming, and safely staying, pregnant throughout the journey.
The costs associated with selection and acquisition of a surrogate are strictly between you and whatever agency you choose.
Step 2. Your selected surrogate needs to be screened by Dr. Victory himself during a thorough interview where he ascertains all the relevant and important aspects of their health including personal health history, past obstetrical history and history of any obstetrical complications, extensive medical, psychological and psychiatric histories and any past history of previous donations, pregnancies, and outcomes.
Step 3. Your gestational carrier requires extensive testing. These tests at a minimum include:
1. Thyroid function tests
2. Vitamin D level
3. Prolactin level
4. Saline infusion sonohysterogram to make sure there are no uterine abnormalities
5. Sexually transmitted disease screening
Here are some of the characterstics we recommend when selecting a surrogate after screening:
a) Be free of smoking, excessive alcohol, and any marijuana and/or illicit drug use
b) Have no uterine pathology as determined by saline infusion sonohysterogram, including:
i) Intrauterine fibroids
ii) Intrauterine polyps
iii) Intrauterine adhesions
iv) Significant adenomyosis
v) Previous invasive placenta or placenta previa
vi) Isthmocele or significant cesarean scar defect
c) The endometrial lining must achieve a minimum 8mm triple layer pattern by transvaginal ultrasound
d) Have no hydrosalpinx
e) Have no more than two previous failed embryo transfers using Donor Eggs
f) Have a BMI < 35 kg/m2 (to calculate www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi).
Step 4. We ensure that you, your partner (if any) and your surrogate are a compatible match and that there are no sexually transmitted diseases that could cause any concern for transmission from one individual to another.
Step 5. Your surrogate will undergo endometrial preparation with estrogen and progesterone to get ready for an embryo transfer. This can be done with fresh embryos from a recent IVF cycle or with frozen embryos whether they’re from you or from a donation.
The total time for this process is a minimum of 2 -3 months, though it entirely depends on how long it takes to secure your gestational carrier. It’s important to be patient to get optimal success.