Is it Necessary to be Present at the Embryo Transfer of the Surrogate Mother?

By (gynecologist), (embryologist) and (babygest staff).
Last Update: 09/09/2019

The transfer of embryos to the uterus of the gestational carrier is one of the moments of the surrogacy process in which the parents of intention may decide to be present, although it is not considered a key moment and therefore the majority do not attend.

Important Moments in Surrogacy

Obtaining the gametes (eggs and sperm) of the future parents and delivery are the moments in which it is necessary to travel to the country in which the surrogacy process is carried out. Traveling to the country implies additional costs so usually intended parents decide to come only at the 2 or 3 most important moments.

However, there are parents of intention who have no more contact than is strictly necessary with the gestational carrier but others maintain a closer relationship with her and may want to participate more in the pregnancy.

In these cases, they usually want to travel to the chosen country to be present at the second or third trimester ultrasound, which is a very emotional moment as they can see the baby in high definition.

Another moment when future parents may want to be present is the embryo transfer, when the embryo or embryos are introduced into the uterus of the surrogate mother.

Is it important to be present at the transfer?

The transfer is a very important moment- it is the moment in which the embryo enters the uterus. At this moment, the endometrium of the surrogate mother is prepared to receive the embryo and allow it to grow.

Once in the uterus, the embryo is already able to interact with the endometrium in order to implant itself in case it is being transferred in the blastocyst stage. If it is an early embryo (2 or 3 days in culture) it will take a few more days until it can reach maturity to implant, but the time of transfer is very representative.

Being present in embryo transfer allows parents to experience the process more closely, making them more involved in everything that the gestational carrier is going through. In addition, she feels supported if future parents are with her in times like this.

Problems in attending the embryo transfer

It is not always possible for intentional parents to be present at this moment, especially if they have to make a long trip. Distance can be a problem, as it means traveling once more which, in turn, leads to an enormous increase in costs with each visit.

Many may not want to be present because they consider it to be a cold and merely medical moment. It is not as emotionally relevant as the ultrasound, which is the time they see the baby, so it is often considered that it is not worth the trip just for the transfer.

It may also be the case that the surrogate mother does not want the parents to be present. She may find it odd and have a feeling of vulnerability with the intented parents in the room watching while she is in a gynecological position.

Together with the gestational carrier, it is important to agree on the moments in which the parents will be present so that each party can express what they feel and none of them will be in an uncomfortable situation or one in which they do not want to be.

If the parents would like to be present but cannot, the gestational carrier's own partner, with her consent, could record a video and send it to the future parents so that they do not lose the experience.

FAQs from users

Are intended parents allowed to be present at the embryo transfer of the surrogate mother?

By Dr. Joel G. Brasch (gynecologist).

Absolutely - provided the gestational carrier agrees.

Is the embryo transfer one of the moments in which you have to be present?

By Sara Salgado (embryologist).

The embryo transfer is one of the moments in which the future parents normally aren't present, but they can if they wish. There are, however, moments in which it is obligatory for the intended parents to be present, as it is the case in gamete extraction, if necessary, and delivery.

Even if we can't be there during the transfer, is there still the possibility to know if everything went well?

By Sara Salgado (embryologist).

Yes, the surrogacy agency or the gestational carrier herself will inform the future parents of how the transfer was. IIn some cases, the surrogate may even take a video from the screen where the cannula is inserted and its contents are deposited in the uterus.

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References

Authors and contributors

Dr. Joel G. Brasch
Dr. Joel G. Brasch
Gynecologist
Dr. Joel Brasch is the Medical Director of Chicago IVF, founded in 2005. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and has over 25 years of direct experience in fertility treatment and reproductive care. He is also the Director of Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. More information about Dr. Joel G. Brasch
 Sara Salgado
Sara Salgado
Embryologist
Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Master's Degree in Human Assisted Reproduction from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Certificate of University Expert in Genetic Diagnosis Techniques from the University of Valencia (UV). More information about Sara Salgado
Adapted into english by:
 Romina Packan
Romina Packan
Babygest Staff
Editor and translator for the Babygest magazine in English and German. More information about Romina Packan

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