HOW CAN WE HELP?
Book a consultation to meet one of our Aria consultants.
At this first visit you will have a consultation with one of our medical consultants who will review your general health, medical history, make recommendations regarding any further tests which are relevant based on the information you have provided about your medical history.
Once we have a clear understanding of your reproductive health, we will be able to give you all the information you need on the IVF process to create viable embryos. We can also provide advice and support as you embark on the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a baby for another person or couple, known as the intended parents. The first stage is to create embryos through IVF which can then be cryopreserved while the intended parents find a suitable surrogate.
Intended parents using their own gametes for a surrogacy arrangement must be registered and screened as egg or sperm donors. If an intended parents’ sperm is to be used for the creation of embryos which are to be transferred, then either the sperm or the embryos themselves must be quarantined for three months.
The reason for this quarantine period is to ensure that sperm do not carry infectious diseases. An intended parent providing her own eggs for treatment must undergo the same infectious diseases screening two months prior to treatment and if having a fresh egg collection to produce embryos for transfer must repeat these at the beginning of her stimulation.
In addition, there are tests for common genetic problems which could be passed to a child born through surrogacy.
FINDING A SURROGATE.
Finding a surrogate and forming a partnership you all feel comfortable with can be a long process. At Aria, we are unable to help you find a surrogate however we can put you in contact with surrogacy agencies who will be able to assist you with this process.
My Surrogacy Journey
Once you have found a surrogate, we will then meet and assess their suitability to carry a pregnancy ensuring this will be a safe process for you all.
Intended parents and surrogates must partake in counselling sessions with our qualified fertility counsellor, both separately and then together. It is important that everyone involved in the treatment understands the implications of the surrogacy arrangement before continuing with any treatment.
Surrogacy treatments can pose certain legal challenges and it is very important that you seek specialist legal parenthood advice before embarking on a surrogacy arrangement.
It is important that you are aware that the law in the UK is such that the surrogate is the legal mother of your child at birth regardless of the type of surrogacy arrangement. You and your partner will need to apply for a Parental Order to become the legal parents of your child born through a surrogacy treatment. This process is well established in the UK and with the appropriate legal advice you can ensure you will both become the legal parents of your child.
TRANSFERRING THE EMBRYOS TO THE SURROGATE.
It is important to ensure that when embryos are transferred into a surrogate that there is a very low risk that the surrogate carries an infectious disease which could affect a developing pregnancy. For this reason, we test for several infectious diseases.
These tests need to be taken within three months of embryos being transferred.
Preparation for your embryo transfer will be the same whether the intended parent(s) have frozen embryos in storage or whether a fresh egg collection is planned to create embryos for transfer, in which case sperm will already have been quarantined.
There are three main ways of preparing for embryo transfer:
Natural cycle; if the surrogate has a regular cycle we may have discussed using a natural cycle to transfer embryos. We need to ensure we know when ovulation occurs and we time transfer after this time.
Medicated cycle; this can be used whether the surrogate has a regular cycle or not and are slightly more flexible in terms of the day of transfer. It takes about three weeks to prepare for embryo transfer.
Long protocol cycle; occasionally it may be beneficial to control the surrogate’s cycle before thawing and transferring embryos. This protocol has an additional step of shutting the function of the ovaries down before commencing medication to prepare the womb lining for transfer. It takes about five weeks to prepare for embryo transfer.
We will give the surrogate a date to do a pregnancy test at the time of transfer and advice on what to do during this period. We will arrange an early pregnancy scan approximately two weeks from the positive pregnancy test result.