Breaking down the 3 stages of embryo transfer: what to expect before, during and after for Surrogates

Discover The ART of Making Babies: Assisted Reproductive Technology in Surrogacy

The CDC defines Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) as fertility treatments involving the manipulation of eggs or embryos. ART procedures typically include the extraction and fertilization of eggs from the ovaries, followed by the transfer of resulting embryos into the uterus, either of the woman undergoing the procedure or a Gestational Carrier (2019).

Despite the initial apprehension that Assisted Reproductive Technologies, like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Embryo Transfer procedures, may evoke in those accustomed to natural conception, advancements in reproductive technology have revolutionized the possibilities for building families. Since the introduction of IVF in the late 1970s (National Library of Medicine, 2022), ART procedures have empowered countless individuals to fulfill their lifelong aspirations of becoming parents and explore options for infertility.

Join us as we cover the in’s and out’s of the IVF and Embryo Transfer process, awaiting you as a NewGen Families’ Gestational Carrier. Our aim is to equip you with a well-researched understanding of Surrogacy and its use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

While NewGen Families collaborates closely with leading fertility clinics to facilitate the Embryo Transfer process for our Surrogates, please note that our team consists of dedicated professionals and experienced Surrogates, not medical practitioners. Therefore, we are unable to provide specific medical advice regarding the IVF process.

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What to expect before the Embryo Transfer procedure?

NewGen Families Top Tip: Schedule all monitoring and blood work appointments for the earliest AM appointment that your facility will allow so that your clinic may have same day results. 

Before undergoing the Embryo Transfer procedure in your Surrogacy journey, it is important to ensure that all necessary preparation tasks have been completed. These tasks typically include a comprehensive background check, thorough medical screening, and most importantly, finding the ideal match with Intended Parents.

Once these crucial elements are in place, the IVF and Embryo Transfer process can proceed, bringing you one step closer to fulfilling the dreams of both the Gestational Carrier and the Intended Parents. As you enter this stage of the Surrogacy journey, it is normal to experience a mix of emotions as you anticipate the transformative nine months ahead. However, if you are working with a Surrogacy agency, you can take comfort in knowing that you won’t be navigating this phase alone. NewGen Families prides itself on its 24/7 support

Your dedicated Third-Party Coordinator will be there to guide you through the next steps and provide invaluable support every step of the way. They will ensure that you are well-prepared for the upcoming Embryo Transfer procedure. One of the essential components of preparation is receiving your Cycle Calendar and medication instructions from your coordinator. 

This calendar will serve as a guide throughout your collaboration with the IVF clinic and will include important details such as medication schedules, appointment dates, and milestones like the transfer date, HCG blood draw dates, and heartbeat confirmation dates.

To ensure that you are properly supported during this process, clinics will expect you to bring a support person with you for your scheduled Embryo Transfer appointment. This person can provide assistance and be there for physical and emotional support during this significant step in your Surrogacy journey.

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How Does the Embryo Transfer Procedure Work?

The long-awaited transfer day has finally arrived! By this stage, your doctor will have meticulously selected the best eggs through Metabolomic Profiling, typically 2 to 3 days before the scheduled Embryo Implantation. In the laboratory, the embryo – formed through the fusion of eggs and sperm, undergoes culture for 1-2 days, allowing it to develop and mature before the Embryo Implantation procedure. Unused embryos are never wasted and will be frozen for a later date, if necessary. 

As mentioned earlier, it is common for Gestational Carriers to feel a sense of nervousness before the Embryo Transfer procedure. But rest assured, the experience is comparable to that of a routine pap smear. The doctor will gently insert a speculum into the Surrogate’s vagina to open the walls, followed by the careful insertion of a catheter through the cervix and into the womb. This enables the embryos to pass through the tube and into the uterus.

Some women have reported experiencing slight discomfort due to the presence of the inserted speculum or the sensation of having a full bladder but the procedure itself rarely requires the use of sedatives or anesthesia (Extraordinary Conceptions, 2019).

Embracing this pivotal moment in your Surrogacy journey, you can feel reassured that the transfer procedure is typically straightforward and manageable. The focus lies in facilitating the safe passage of the embryos into their new home within the womb.

Is there a difference in pregnancy success rate between a frozen embryo transfer and fresh embryo transfer?

When considering pregnancy success rates between frozen and fresh embryo transfers, it’s crucial to focus on the bigger picture. Extensive studies have demonstrated no significant differences in outcomes between these two methods (PubMed Central, 2017). Moreover, the pregnancy success rate is far more intricate than solely choosing between fresh and frozen embryos as the advantages and trade-offs are unique to each individual.

For instance, gestational carriers opting for fresh embryo transfer may benefit from avoiding additional rounds of hormones. On the other hand, some clinics advocate freezing all embryos, as they believe the egg stimulation process could make the uterus lining less receptive to pregnancy (Duke University Medical Center, 2018). Ultimately, the responsibility for making the final call lies with the attending doctor

After Embryo Transfer

After Embryo Transfer, the Gestational Carrier will travel back home. In the subsequent weeks, the Surrogate will also undergo BETA tests to measure the level of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in the blood. These tests are conducted multiple times, based on the clinic’s protocols and test results, serving as indicators of a successful pregnancy.

While it is natural to wonder about the presence of symptoms after Embryo Transfer, an individual’s response to the changes in progesterone and estrogen can vary. Some women may notice certain indications, such as mild cramping, breast tenderness, or slight fatigue. However, it is equally common for others to experience no symptoms or only very subtle ones.

It is crucial to avoid comparing your experience with others or relying solely on the presence or absence of symptoms as an indicator of a successful outcome. The best course of action is to follow the guidelines provided by your medical team, including any recommended medications, rest, and self-care practices. 

Remember, each Surrogacy journey is unique, and the absence or mildness of symptoms does not necessarily indicate any issues or lack of progress.


So, as you embark on the Embryo Transfer period, stay attentive to your body, follow the recommendations provided by your IVF clinic, and remain hopeful as you progress further along your Surrogacy journey!

Are you curious about Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Embryo Transfer phase of your Surrogacy journey, or would simply like to explore options for infertility? Contact us to learn more and gain valuable insights from our experienced team.

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