Sex after IVF: Is This a Good Idea?

Studying various fertility forums you can note relations between IVF and sex are not very optimistic. Women often complain after IVF procedure that they feel unsexy, and after great number of transvaginal scans there are no thoughts about sex at all. The worst case when couples have no sex before, during and after fertility treatment through IVF: they forget how it looks like.

Actually, there are no causes for the laugh. American specialists have carried out the study and found out that, as a rule, relationships between spouses can suffer during this difficult period. According to polled healthcare providers, mental-health practitioners and IVF couples, women after IVF interested in sex less then healthy women who have never undergone fertility treatment. Women after IVF note that there is no dryness and vaginal sensitivity, and orgasms are rare. In other words, it is quite logical that the relationship between the partners deteriorates because of the lack of physical intimacy.

Talk about it with your doctor

Problems arise due to the fact that, according to statistics, rare couples are ready to discuss the topic of sex at the doctor. Couples should be more openly. The doctor can keep silence about this aspect of the relationship if you will not ask him (the exception is when the doctor advises to avoid sexual intercourse at certain stages of the IVF). And then you will suffer in silence because of obscurity. There is nothing difficult about to ask your doctor at the end of the consultation, for example, whether you can make love before or after IVF.
Problems arise due to the fact that, according to statistics, rare couples are ready to discuss the topic of sex at the doctor.

Is there sex after IVF?

All the couples decided to undergo IVF treatment should understand that they are on the verge of an extraordinary and emotional time. Disruptions are almost inevitable. Usually, consultation with couples occur after embryo transfer. So, if you do not focus on the issue of sex, this theme become less of a priority. Among the comments of fertility forums, we can easily find something like ‘IVF treatment is the most unerotic thing that I ever did.’ Sometimes it seems that sex and IVF are mutually exclusive things.

A common condition is the lack of sex after embryo transfer. Sexual activity may adversely affect the implantation of the embryo.

A common condition is the lack of sex after embryo transfer. The fact is sexual activity and especially orgasms may adversely affect the implantation of the embryo. But the period of abstinence can vary depending on clinic: some doctors will advise you to avoid sex for two weeks; others may say about only one week. Actually, your mental and financial investment in the treatment is so huge that you will most likely want to keep all possible precautions. In this way, no sex before pregnancy test. But even that is negative, you can hardly think about it.

Another point of IVF, when you mustn’t have sex is egg retrieval. The fact is that this procedure is highly intrusive. So, you may be sore after it, and there is a high risk to pick up an infection. By the way, before the egg retrieval most doctors forbid sex too. As for men, they are asked to refrain from ejaculation for a few days before the sperm-collection. In addition, a woman will have to take medication at this time, because of which she can feel just awful.

How to cope with problem

You should understand the main reason is not in the medical restrictions. IVF is a huge stress for the partners. Constant medical intervention and a lack of communication on the part of friends and family (as usually happens) strike out the sex from the priority list.

To cope with this issue you should be open for communication. Talk about it with your doctor, he can give you a couple of useful tips. Try, if you can, be more optimistyc and laugh about IVF affecting on your sex life. Do not underestimate the support of the closest friends. Perhaps they do not want to discuss the details, but you can be together, side by side in the most difficult moments.

Keep in mind: if a baby will be born or not, your relationship will be valuable to you. Try not to lose it and keep your love and warmth.

Advertisements

Whether Infertility Treatment Is Expensive

Do you want to know whether you can afford fertility treatment if you need additional help to get pregnant? You have an opportunity to check this reviewing the approximate prices below.


Infertility treatment
is available not only for the fabulously wealthy celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker. If you think differently, you’re wrong. There are different ways of infertility treatment. Some of them can cost more than a hundred thousand dollars, while others will cost you only five dollars a month. So how much money will you have to spend? We cannot say for sure. The cost of such treatment depends on many factors. For example, on place of you living. It is also necessary to take into account the amount of insurance coverage, which depends on the existing insurance plan.

Your medical history, your age and the results of the survey will help your doctor determine what type of treatment will work in your case better. Here are some of the most common types of treatments with prices, as they usually are in the USA.

Oral Medications

 

One of the most common ways of dealing with infertility are oral medications, for example, such as Clomid or Femara. These drugs induce ovulation in women. And the good news is that these drugs are relatively inexpensive, you will spend from five to twenty dollars a month for them. They are usually combined with intrauterine insemination. On average, a typical course with oral medications, ultrasound diagnostic and insemination will cost you 500-700 dollars per month excluding insurance.

Injection of Hormones

There is more potent agent. It is hormones called gonadotropins. They are more expensive (2,500-3,500 dollars) and are used in jointly with intrauterine insemination. Their effectiveness justifies the cost; they greatly increase the chances of getting pregnant. These hormones stimulate the production of more amount of eggs per cycle.

Also, your doctor may offer you a combined cycle, when oral medications are used together with low doses of hormone injections. Such treatment is cheaper than pure hormones: 1,500-2,000 dollars a month.

In Vitro Fertilization

Nowadays IVF is called the most effective means to combat infertility. If you choose this way, you will probably need medication, blood test, anesthesia, ultrasound and procedures related to the embryos. All these procedures will cost approximately 13,000-14,000 dollars. This figure can vary depending on how much medication patient need and which special procedures will be required to do.

Transfer of Frozen Embryos

You think about the transfer of frozen embryos? This procedure assumes that you can save the embryos obtained during an IVF cycle to have ability to use it in the future. To do this, you need to do ultrasound, blood tests and embryology procedures, and also to transfer the embryo in the uterus. All these things will cost about 2,500 dollars.

Sperm and Egg Donation

If you choose using donor sperm to become pregnant, you maybe have to pay about 500 dollars per vial of donated sperm. If you are going to also carry out an intrauterine insemination with this semen, it will cost about 330 dollars, but if you want to spend IVF cycle your costs will be relevant (cost of IVF see above). Donated eggs cost even more expensive: about 24,000-25,000 dollars per cycle. However, this procedure is much cheaper in Europe: 5,000-10,000 euro per cycle, including all the necessary medications and examinations.

Surrogacy

Surrogate mother, or gestational carrier, is called a woman who can bear your child instead of you. If you contact the agency for help in finding a surrogate mother, you should be prepared to pay 80,000-100,000 dollars. And if you have a friend or a sister who will agree to provide you with this service, you will probably pay a lot less.Anyway, the same thing as in case of IVF, you may go to Europe and pay 25,000-60,000 euro for a surrogacy program.

Egg Preservation

The usual cycle of egg preservation costs about 10,000 dollars, but you should know that the price may vary depending on the amount of medication that you need to stimulate the ovaries.

How to make the treatment more affordable

If these numbers overwhelm you, know that it is possible to pay less. Firstly, carefully examine your insurance, to determine what types of treatment will be suitable for you from medical and financial point of view. If your insurance is suitable for renewal, speak with the employees of your company to find out whether there is the plan variant that will cover the costs of treatment better.

Nowadays 15 states have laws which say that insurance companies must offer different plans that include infertility treatment. But unfortunately, your employer is not obliged to offer them.

You can also contact the center where infertility is treated and ask if they carry out any research where you can participate. Such clinics very often have information on financing for patients who are in need of funds to start the treatment.

How coffee affects IVF

Each of us have several friends in our surroundings who can’t live a day without some cups of coffee. It makes no sense to deny: the coffee has long been a part of our lives. Caffeine, in fact, is the most widespread available drug. According to statistics, every other drink coffee every day, and every fourth adult from time to time uses this invigorating drink. According to the survey, on average, women of childbearing age consume about 100 mg of caffeine a day, and top 10% of them get more than excess 229 mg a day.

Just a cup of coffee

Coffee is so widespread that it is impossible to ignore its impact on our health. Undoubtedly, the coffee is an excellent nervous system stimulant due to which the body begins to work in the morning. But the impact of the caffeine on the body is not limited to these things. It’s no secret that caffeine intake increases blood pressure and heart rate. Additionally, caffeine accelerates the formation of urine and metabolism.

But how does coffee affect fertility? Could coffee be an obstacle on the path to desired pregnancy?

Pregnancy, fertility, IVF and caffeine

To determine the relationship between the consumption of caffeine and problems with conceiving, scientists have occurred a lot of researches.  Studies say: Caffeine consumption significantly increases the risk of miscarriage. The more caffeine a woman consumes, the greater the likelihood of miscarriage. Women who consume more than 200 mg caffeine per day had twice as many miscarriages (25.5%) compared to those who did not drink coffee (12.5%).

Another danger lies in the fact that pregnant women are more sensitive to caffeine. Firstly, caffeine is slowly eliminated from the body during pregnancy. And secondly, caffeine has a nasty feature to cross the placenta and affect the embryo development.

Thus, scientists advise to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy. In fact, besides the risk of miscarriage coffee negatively affects the ability to get pregnant. The more coffee is consumed by the woman, the less the chance to conceiving a child. Women who drink a couple of cups (or more) of coffee a day have twice less likely to become pregnant per cycle. When it comes to IVF, even a small dose of caffeine significantly reduces the chances of success and the probability of a live birth.

The mechanism of influence of caffeine on pregnancy is unknown until now but the fact remains that women of childbearing age who wish to have children, and pregnant women should give up coffee.

Recent studies in mice and monkeys have shown that caffeine inhibits the development of oocytes and adversely affects their quality. Conception may not occur with the participation of immature eggs, so pregnancy does not come.

Tips for coffee drinkers

Scientists compare the adverse effect of five cups of coffee Consumed per day, with the impact of smoking on pregnant women. If you don’t know several recent surveys and studies have shown that tobacco smoking has a negative effect on the number of oocytes retrieved for IVF cycle, implantation, fertilization rates, pregnancy and even live birth. So be careful with this beverage. And do not forget, however, that caffeine enters the body not only from coffee. Carefully watch your diet. If you’ve drank a lot of coffee, do not give up it immediately. Do it gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms: irritability, nausea and headaches are not the most pleasant thing in your life. The extra risks are not necessary, so try not to drink coffee while trying to become pregnant and during pregnancy to minimize any possible harmful effects.

How to Choose the Right Fertility Clinic

It is very difficult to choose a fertility clinic. This is a very important issue for every couple who wants to have a baby. Currently, there is a myriad of clinics specializing in the treatment of infertility. Each of them offers a huge number of services and options. In such competitive environment, clinics lured customers talking about their successes and a variety of services and benefits. Couples who are needed IVF will be overwhelmed after reading a great number of articles and trying to figure out what is true and what is just a beautiful advertising. Success rates are a very important indicator, but you shouldn’t pay attention exclusively on it when you choose a clinic. Here are some simple steps to help couples choose the right clinic.

  1. Signs of a bad fertility clinic

You can’t understand that a clinic is good until you learn to see the signs of a bad clinic.

Step 1. Avoid clinics where the doctor works part-time. Many doctors working in IVF clinics, also work in hospitals (full-time), taking delivery or providing other types of gynecological services.

But why this might be a problem?

Firstly, a doctor, who works part-time, will not be able to provide you with full service and do your best to help you conceive and bear a child. They are almost all the time will be busy with their main job. Success rates in such clinics will be too low.

Secondly, in these clinics doctors will not be able to provide individual attention for every patient. In some clinics, an embryologist comes once or twice a month. But every woman produces eggs with different intensity. The eggs can’t adjust to the embryologist’s schedule.

Step 2. Be wary of clinics that offer the narrow list of services in comparison to other clinics. It is especially important to pay attention to whether there is the possibility of embryo freezing. The good clinics have this service. If you chose the clinic that does not offer such service, give up your intention to undergo IVF here. If the clinic is not able to store frozen egg, probably, your egg will be donated somewhere else without your consent.

Step 3. Beware of clinics that do not want to show you their facilities and equipment. Some clinics buy poor, old or used equipment. Such equipment is rarely well served. Undergoing IVF in these clinics, you run the risk of getting an infection or other complications.

Картинки по запросу fertility clinic

  1. Examination of credentials

You should check out some of the facts and the credentials of any clinic before signing the paper.

Step 1. Check how long a program has been existing. As a rule, the longer the clinic operates, the more its experience. In addition, its work is time-tested. And it is likely that the clinic has proved its effective operation.

Step 2. Find out success rates of your clinic. Check the claimed success rates and those ones that provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They provide data almost about all the fertility clinics.

Be careful studying success rates. Some clinics refuse to treat patients if they consider that they have too little chance of becoming pregnant. So clinics strive to maintain high success rates. It is better firstly to check with clinic’s policies, without paying attention to the percentage of pregnancies.

Step 3. Check whether the clinic is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology or SART. This organization monitors its members, causing them to adhere to certain ethical requirements and arranges checks to make sure that all rules and regulations enforced.

Step 4. Make sure that all the doctors in the clinic are board certified.  Check that all the doctors in the clinic work on site. So doctors will be able to assist you as soon as it is needed.

  1. See a list of services offered by the clinic

If you are familiar with the list of available services, you will understand if you get what you want in the clinic or not.

Step 1. Make sure that the clinic offers IVF for women with different types of infertility. There are clinics which set aside IVF for an emergency when all other options of fertility treatment have been tried. Some clinics do this in order not to spoil their success rates. You should look for a clinic that offers a wide range of services to help you get pregnant.

Step 2. Find out whether the clinic that you have chosen treat male infertility. It may well be that the problem is not you, but your man. Sometimes woman’s treatment fails. In this case, a doctor checks male fertility. If you choose a clinic in which male fertility is checked, you may avoid many unnecessary procedures. In addition, you will not have to change doctors or clinics, if the problem is detected.

Step 3. Get to know everything about the prices. Each clinic should have a list of prices in writing form. On the one hand, you need to choose a clinic that is available for you. On the other hand, you cannot save on the quality of medical services. Your task is to choose a middle ground, explore insurance plans and pricing policies of the clinic.

Step 4. Find out if there is an opportunity to consult with a psychologist at the choosing clinic. Fertility treatment is stress, not only for women but also for the couple as a whole. This is a very big advantage if the clinic has a staff psychologist, who will help to cope with stress in such difficult time.

Картинки по запросу fertility clinic

What else you should know

Pay attention to clinic environment. Ideally, it should be quiet and calm in a clinic. Of course, in any establishment there are days when chaos is inevitable. But such a situation should take place rarely and be carefully monitored. Infertility treatment will be for you like a ride on rough roads, but in any case you need to feel the support of doctors and be sure that everything is under the control of specialists.

As for the range of services, it should be wide enough. This is necessary in order to have had the opportunity to choose for yourselves the best treatment option.

In addition, a good clinic should pay attention to both partners.

For many people, it is important that the clinic was ready to collaborate. Find out whether the clinic agrees to additional services (acupuncture, massage, etc.), and if not, why not.

In such a delicate matter, as the treatment of infertility, teamwork is very important. Meet the staff, check how they are competent in their field, check whether the clinic has accreditation. In addition, it is helpful to know what the experience of working your doctor has. What is the staff turnover in the clinic? The frequent change of employees can lead to errors.

Also carefully review the success rates, but do not consider them as the main factor, because clinics often go to different tricks in their counting.

Pros and Cons of Surrogacy

Though surrogacy is a great experience for everyone involved, there are also the cons, that come along with the pros. Of course, benefits of this phenomena outweigh all possible drawbacks. But it’s not mean, that you may ignore cons completely. Here are the list of advantages and disadvantages that will help you to decide if surrogacy is the optimal way in your case.

Pros of Surrogate Mother

  1. The mainest benefit of surrogacy is the fact that this procedure gives a chance to have a baby for couples who are suffer from infertility or gay couples.
  2. The first aim for any reputable assisted reproductive and surrogacy agencies is the surrogate mother gives birth to a healthy child. So, if you have decided to become a surrogate mother, you will be fully examined and your health will be carefully monitored.
  3. Competent psychologists will be providing you with psychological support: you do not have to overcome the psychological problems alone.
  4. An added bonus could be the fact that you will work with a team of highly qualified doctors, who make someone’s dreams come true: modern technologies are rather advanced and the possibility of success outcome is very high.

Cons of Surrogacy

  1. Surrogacy is complicated so you must carefully choose your professional team who will guide you through the surrogacy journey;
  2. Cost of surrogate mother services is very expensive. To hire a surrogate mother, you will need 30-50 thousand dollars. In addition, some couples sign a contract according to which they undertake to partially pay for food and accommodation of their surrogate mother. If complications arise, the surrogate mother will suffer material damage, since she is not able to work for some time.
  3. You will not be able to carefully monitor the pregnancy: you have to rely on a surrogate mother, and the professionalism of the medical staff, who you work with.
  4. There are often problems with family and friends. This also applies to prospective parents and the surrogate mother. Many difficulties appear in order to explain surrogate motherhood to your close people.
  5. The laws of surrogacy in different countries and even within the same country may vary. Therefore, it is desirable to find a competent lawyer who will help you understand the intricacies of the law. For example, in Australia, the United Kingdom and Denmark only non-commercial surrogacy is permitted. And in Germany, France and Italy surrogacy is illegal.
  6. You must not forget that any pregnancy is the risk. Women’s health is being seriously tested during this period. In addition, the surrogate mother should consume a variety of drugs that help the body to prepare it for pregnancy. This may adversely affect the health of the surrogate mother.
  7. There is always a risk of emotional attachment of a surrogate mother to the unborn child. Even if the surrogate mother considers a relationship with a couple exclusively from a business point of view. If you can already find a few excuses in order not to give the child in the legal family, surrogacy is not for you.

Brining a surrogacy baby home

Parents and children share a deep, emotional bond. This bond is what makes a parent’s instincts kick in, to care for and protect their child. This is extremely important for the child’s sense of worth and self-esteem.

Building this bond is vital, and usually begins during the early stages of pregnancy. But what if you are not carrying your own child, how do you and your family begin the bond that will last a lifetime?

Surrogacy and Bonding

For babies who are born from surrogacy, the bonding doesn’t have to wait until the intended parents take baby home!

Even from the early stages of pregnancy, the baby has a strong sense of smell and hearing. Through touch, smell and hearing, the baby attaches themselves to the woman carrying them.

One thing intended parents can do from the beginning is talk to the baby. The more the baby hears the intended parent’s voices, the more familiar and comfortable baby will become. As intended parents, you can even send tapes of your voice and have your surrogate play them for the baby.

If, as intended parents, you are able to, be part of the pregnancy as much as possible. Attending doctor appointments, having a baby shower and even decorating the nursery are all ways to help intended parents feel involved throughout the whole journey.

Taking the time to organize and prepare your home before the birth of your baby is vital. Nesting your home, preparing the nursery and baby proofing the house, gives intended parents a feeling of connection to the baby, and provides the feeling of parental protection, which is a vital aspect of bonding.

Before the big day arrives, intended parents will want to make sure they have everything in order. Packing hospital bags, preparing meals ahead of time and putting the finishing touches on the nursery will make the transition easier for the parents.

Since the baby already has a connection to the surrogate mother, providing a transitional item is recommended. Having the surrogate mother sleep with a teddy bear, which she plans on giving the child, gives a newborn a sense of familiarity and comfort, just from the scent of the surrogate mother.

When a baby is born, they need to confirm all the things they have been hearing, smelling and feeling while in the womb. Allowing the surrogate mother to hold the child after birth allows the baby to confirm their senses on the outside world, which is vital for their growth and development.

Once intended parents take baby home, skin-to-skin contact between baby and parent is highly recommended. The close contact will help both parent and child to build a physical bond.

Intended parents must always remember that when their newborn is fussy or upset, it has nothing to do with surrogacy. Try not to beat yourself up about not being able to carry your own child. Grieve your losses throughout the pregnancy and once baby is born understand that babies are naturally fussy, and it has nothing to do with surrogacy.

Don’t forget about the surrogate mother! The whole goal of surrogacy is to create or complete a family. Nothing will bring joy to the surrogate mother like seeing her efforts complete. Try to stay in contact, as much as you’re comfortable with, to have your surrogate mother see the good she has done.

Bonds between child and parent are extremely important for both the child and the parent. Bonding with their parents is what allows a child to feel comfortable in almost all aspects of their life, and is what allows a parent’s instincts to kick in.

Bonding with your child during the surrogate’s pregnancy will help make for a smooth transition when bringing baby home.

Commercial Surrogacy Laws in Different Parts of the World

Jan 19 – India is on the verge of banning commercial surrogacy, an industry estimated to be worth as much as $2.3 billion annually, in its next parliamentary session starting in February.

The Indian surrogacy industry has been criticised by rights groups who say it puts vulnerable women at risk. The government believes a ban will check unethical practices.

If passed the legislation in India would ban commercial surrogacy, but allow altruistic surrogacy for married Indian couples medically proven to be infertile. Singles and gay couples will not be allowed to seek the service.

India banned foreign nationals from seeking surrogacy in 2015, a year after the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said that commercial surrogacy, if not regulated, amounts to the sale of children.

Here’s a look at laws in different parts of the world:

  • For-profit surrogacy is banned in Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, the UK and Australia (except for the Northern Territory which has no laws on the matter), but they all allow some forms of altruistic surrogacy.
  • Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain prohibit all forms of surrogacy.
  • There is no legislation concerning surrogacy at the federal level in the United States, and some states allow commercial surrogacy arrangements.
  • For-profit surrogacy flourished in Thailand until 2015 when the country banned it for foreigners after a series of high-profile cases, including an Australian couple who were accused of abandoning a baby born with Down’s syndrome.
  • Georgia and Ukraine have now emerged as the next surrogacy hubs as there are no laws or rules so far governing the sector.
  • Surrogacy is allowed in Russia.
  • Cambodia had no laws regarding surrogacy, but it cracked down on agencies in 2016.

 

How an Egg Donor Pregnancy Can Feel Like Your Own

At a young age, many girls dream about the day they get to be a mother. Playing ‘house’ with their little baby doll, assuming one day they will be able to have their own children, and begin their family. Many women, however, are not as fortunate and have to face their infertility head on.

When a woman learns she is unable to conceive a child on her own, she is often left at a loss for words, wondering how she will move on from this. If this has happened to you and you have begun for alternatives ways to have your own family, you’ve probably come across egg donation.

Although egg donation is an amazing alternative to starting your own family, a common concern amongst most infertile women is that they fear that their pregnancy experience will not be the same. Many women fear that the absence of a biological connection to their child will dominate how they feel throughout the pregnancy.

You may wonder if the baby will look like you and worry that you’ll find yourself trying to recognize yourself in them. This path to parenthood may not have been what you intended, but nonetheless with egg donation, you’ll get to experience the same nine month pregnancy as other mothers do.

After dealing with the emotional aspects of using an egg donor and finding an ideal match, you’ll start to see how the pregnancy will feel like your own. Regardless of the process being used to conceive, your role as the baby’s mother will not change. You’ll go through the same ups and downs as a biological pregnancy. Carrying a child for nine months, hearing their heartbeat for the first time, and watching them grow, you’ll get to experience the same type of attachment to the child.

At the end of the day, regardless of the biological link, you are still the one giving birth to him/her and raising the child as your own. This special bond with your child is irreplaceable and with the help and generosity of an egg donor, you’ll be able to fulfil your dreams of parenthood.

How to Stay Stress-free during your Surrogacy

The surrogacy process can be stressful. From struggling with infertility, to selecting an egg donor or surrogate, even the calmest individual would experience some level of stress during this process.

Stress can take away from the process and the joy that welcoming a child into your life can bring. Here are some techniques you can use to remain stress-free throughout your surrogacy.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a stress relieving technique that is often underrated. Take a break from whatever you are doing and place your hand on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose, focusing on expanding your stomach to make your hand rise. Then, exhale slowly and with control, through your mouth. Repeat for 5 minutes. This technique can be used as many times as necessary throughout the day to decrease stress levels.

Yoga

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise and relaxation. Being active helps to release endorphins in the brain. The release of endorphins can help ease depression, anxiety, and stress. Yoga is also a calming form of exercise in nature. It focuses on self-awareness and breathing which helps further reduce stress levels.

Sleep

Sleep is a part of our everyday lives. We use this time to recharge our minds and for our bodies to rest. Lack of sleep can lead to memory, judgment, and mood alterations. It is imperative that you get a proper night’s sleep if you wish to remain stress-free. Try to achieve 8 hours of sleep a night.

Journal

Writing down all that is worrying you in life is a great way to reduce stress. Try journaling in bed before you go to sleep. This can help ease your mind and improve your sleep. Also, creating lists can be a great way to reduce the stress caused by worrying that you will forget something or miss a deadline.

Visualization

Visualization is a great way to relieve stress. Close your eyes and picture a place that you feel very relaxed in, such as a beach. Think about what it looks, feels, smells, and tastes like. Doing this can actually bring you the same decreased stress levels as if you were in the location you are picturing.

Gestational vs. traditional surrogacy

There are two types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional.

A gestational surrogate is a woman who undergoes IVF with an embryo that is not hers. She typically thickens her uterine lining and suppresses her ovaries using a combination of shots and pills, but the baby that is implanted in her womb does not share her DNA. The egg and sperm either belong to the baby’s parents, or they belong to an egg or sperm donor. It’s like bringing the ingredients for your grandmother’s homemade pumpkin bread over to your friend’s house. You might bake it in her oven, but it was your idea to bake and you brought all the ingredients, so it’s your bread.

The other type of surrogate is a traditional surrogate, where a woman inseminated with sperm from the baby’s intended father or a sperm donor. A traditional surrogate is genetically linked to the baby since she uses her own egg, but she differs from a birth mother who gives her baby up for adoption in that the surrogate baby’s conception was completely planned with the understanding that she will never be the mother.

I was a gestational surrogate, which means I transferred an embryo that was made from the sperm from her father and an egg from a donor. The baby’s mother was unable to get pregnant because of her battle with cancer. I was just part of the medical team who helped bring her baby earthside.

Before we even transferred the embryo, we signed a pre-birth order before a judge stating that any baby that was implanted in my body through IVF was going home with them. I never went on the birth certificate as the mother because as far as the legal system was concerned I was just a walking, talking fabulous incubator. That baby was their baby from conception.