How many embryo transfers are required for surrogacy?

Surrogacy-Quote-103by Mikah
(Austin, Texas)

Does the transfer of embryos usually take the first time around? If not how many times do it usually take from your experienced?

I am in the first stages of my surrogacy journey, and I have been reading a lot about the process. One thing that concerns me is the idea that I will probably have to go through the whole process and never end up pregnant.

I’d like to prepare myself for this, so I was wondering how many times the transfer of the embryos will be attempted and what factors determine how successful the process will be?

Reply by Rayven

Wow! That’s a difficult question! So many different factors contribute to the success of IVF.

I’ve known surrogates who have gone through 4 transfers with nothing, and others who have gone through only one. I’ve even known surrogates who have gone through 4 transfers unsuccessfully with one couple and have gone on with another couple and become pregnant with twins the first time around.

I’m not certain about your comments that you will “probably have to go through the whole process and never end up pregnant”. Actually, most surrogacies do result in pregnancy. Though, you are right that not all do.

The most important factor when determining the success of any IVF procedure is the quality of the eggs themselves. As a surrogate, you have absolutely no control over this. Factors such as the age of the intended mother, her health, and so on, affect the quality of the eggs. Eggs from a young intended mother, or an egg donor, will have more of a chance of sticking around.

Then there is your health and your body’s ability. As you are a surrogate, your health is not in question, making you more likely to succeed. As far as your body’s ability, you just simply will not know how your body will perform until it’s time to do it! Some women seem to easily get pregnant via IVF; others just don’t. Being a healthy surrogacy candidate in the first place, your body will probably (hopefully…think positive, that’s important) do just fine.

Then there are the number of embryos transfered. If the eggs are poor quality, the IVF doctor will want to put more in, as many as 4-5. But, if your body does great, then all 4-5 may take! So that is a concern.

Bottom line, you just have to follow the medical protocol, think positively, and trust the process.

As to how many transfers will be attempted, this is something you should go over with your intended parents during the contract phase. Most contracts specify 3-4 attempted transfers, in no more than 1-1.5 years.

Best wishes!

Posted in Ask a Surrogate.