Surrogacy – What To Expect

Whether you are unable to carry a child of your own or are in a same sex relationship, you may consider surrogacy as a way to grow your family. At Simple Surrogacy, we work carefully to ensure a good match between the Surrogate and the Intended Parents.

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From a Surrogate’s Perspective

A woman becomes a surrogate in order to help intended parents build their family. As a surrogate, you will be asked questions that will provide value to both prospective intended parents and the agency to ensure you find an ideal match. It is important to be honest and provide information that you’d want to know if the roles were reversed.

At Simple Surrogacy, we understand the sacrifices you make in accepting the responsibility of creating a life for the intended parents. We take care of you and work on your behalf throughout the pregnancy in order to enable the best pregnancy possible. At Simple Surrogacy, the process to apply to be a surrogate is simple! From 24-hour support to fully funded escrow accounts, surrogacy comes with a variety of benefits!

From the Intended Parent’s Perspective

Simple Surrogacy is here to mend your heartache and help you achieve your dreams of parenthood. We understand how confusing and stressful the Surrogacy process can be. That’s why we are here to ensure your journey is as simple and enjoyable as possible. At Simple Surrogacy, we care about your aspirations and conduct a thorough background check on all our surrogates.

Your surrogate is carrying your future child for 9 months. Therefore, it is vital that you two create a meaningful relationship with one another. You must be on the same page as your surrogate and make ensure that you discuss how involved she will be after the pregnancy.

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Сommon Ethical Concerns and Issues with Egg Donation

There are many ethical issues to consider when using donor eggs. Here are a few common issues that people who are considering using donor eggs face.

How important is it to the parents that the child is genetically related to them?

Is the goal a healthy pregnancy or a genetically related healthy pregnancy? Often times, the use of a donor egg is more beneficial, because it results in a healthy and successful pregnancy when a woman’s own eggs are not of good quality.

Is parenting better done at a younger age or an older age?

It can be better to have youth on your side, but it can also be good to have maturity when it comes to parenting. After age 40, IVF is often more successful using donor eggs. Some benefits to using donor eggs is the ability to avoid negative genetic and psychological health issues.

How will you explain to your child about how they were conceived and at what age?

What if your child wants to meet his or her biological parents? If your donor is known, then you could arrange for this to happen. It is helpful to think about what you would want their relationship to look like if your child did meet his or her biological parents.

How does your religion view the use of donor eggs?

Is it ethical for a sister to donate eggs to her sister?

Who will carry the baby and how will this be explained? This is a common scenario and all parties involved (including husbands) must go through a psychological evaluation and be approved to move forward.

 

Making a list of pros and cons in addition to speaking with a counselor can help reduce anxiety about the use of donor eggs. Contact Aspire Fertility with any additional questions regarding ethical concerns with egg donation.

Why Surrogacy is Crucial

Many individuals long for the day that they can finally start a family. Unfortunately, many people are unable to conceive. Infertility is a common underlying factor that significantly affects marriages. You may have come to the decision to finally seek alternative paths to parenthood. Non-traditional methods of achieving parenthood can seem confusing and stressful at first, but at Simple Surrogacy the process is simple.

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is the process of carrying an embryo to birth for another individual or couple. The woman carrying the child is referred to as the surrogate mother. Surrogacy is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs). Surrogacy was developed to assist the growing number of individuals who are unable to conceive.

How Surrogacy Has Changed The Lives Of Many Individuals

Many individuals view surrogate motherhood as an alternative option to starting the family they have always dreamed of. Surrogacy bridges the infertility gap and helps couples achieve their dreams of parenthood. Without surrogacy, individuals and couples may never become parents. However, with surrogacy, this is attainable. Many surrogate candidates read the profiles from potential Intended Parents and are often enlightened by the struggles many people have endured to conceive a child.

Relationship with Surrogate Mother

In fact, many Intended Parents have such a positive experience with their Surrogate mother, that they choose to maintain a relationship with her even after the 9-month surrogacy period. On the other hand, many surrogates have also had such positive experiences that they choose to continue to pursue surrogacy and become repeat surrogates, giving the gift of life more than once.

Interesting facts about egg donation

What does egg donation mean? Roughly speaking, it’s the phenomenon when one women, who’s called donor, give her oocytes to another one (recipient), because donor’s eggs help the second woman to have a baby. During the process donor uses drugs by which her ovaries produce few сells over a one cycle. After that doctor extracts eggs and then embryologist checks it. These cells may be used for IVF cycle or to be frozen.

Egg donation germs in early 80’s. In 1978 scientists have proved that the IVF is very effective method in the fight against infertility and American citizens knew about egg donation. In 5 years the first child was born through IVF and egg donation in Australia. Also in 1983 IVF-Egg Donor cycle was conducted in the USA and the first baby was born after nine months.

In 1990 IVF with donor eggs became the solution for problem of age-related infertility. From that very moment treatment became possible even for women over 40 years, if they can physically bear a child. Of course, the financial aspect of this question is very important too. Recipients should be ready to spend a lot of money during the process.

Egg donation as a part of infertility treatment is successfully developing during all these years. It has become a new hope for women who can’t conceive due to various reasons. Also IVF-Egg Donor cycles are a good solution for some couples who want to avoid hereditary diseases. And egg donation is a perfect alternative of adoption for many infertile women and single persons. In the twenty first century new methods of treatment have become feasible thanks to advanced technologies. information about egg donation

Nowadays more than 50,000 children have already been born due to egg donation. A lot of new laws regulating this procedure have been passed all over the world. An appearance of the new methods has become the cause of many disputes. In connection with this fact, medical associations around the world prepared guidelines to use IVF with donor eggs correctly.

Over the last 25 years the development of egg donation had many discussions of the ethical and legal aspects of this method. Technical and legal basis for the clinical using of human oocytes was created in many countries. A lot of rules was introduced for, children, their parents and donors’ safety. However, the legal status and form of the compensation may vary depending on the location. There are countries where this procedure is illegal (for example, in Australia and Italy) or allowable, but only on condition when it is no payable and anonymous. In Canada this kind of donation is allowed if procedure is anonymous and a donor get the money. In some states the donation is permitted if it is anonymous and the donor receives compensation (Czech Republic, Poland, Spain and Ukraine). If a couple thinks about doing IVF cycle abroad, they should to research the laws of that very country relating to IVF.

Shift work, heavy lifting linked to less successful in vitro fertilization

Fertility treatments are arduous, with many factors contributing to the chance of conceiving, but now U.S. researchers say shift work or heavy lifting on the job may reduce the odds for success.

Shift work disrupts sleep and the body’s internal clock and has been associated with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and some cancer.

  • Night shift effects on brain comparable to chronic jet lag
  • Night shift workers face increased breast cancer risk

Researchers monitored indicators of capacity to reproduce among 473 women with an average age of 35 who attended a fertility clinic in Boston as part of the Environment and Reproductive Health or EARTH study.

Previous studies have suggested a link between work schedules, heavy lifting at work and capacity to reproduce. But they weren’t able to take direct measures, such as levels of reproductive hormones or immature eggs, called oocytes, remaining in the ovary.

In the study, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, there were 190 women who moved or lifted heavy objects at work.

Harvard researcher Audrey Gaskins says a woman seeking fertility treatment could consider avoiding shift work or heavy lifting if possible.

“We found that women who are working non-day shifts as well as those who are moving or lifting heavy objects at work had significantly fewer total eggs retrieved as well as mature eggs retrieved when undergoing in-vitro fertilization,” study author Audrey Gaskins, a research associate at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, said in an interview.

“And this is important because only the mature eggs are capable of developing into healthy embryos needed to sustain a pregnancy. So in theory if a woman has fewer mature eggs that would lower her chances of becoming pregnant.”

The lower egg count among women who work outside of the regular hours may be related to a disrupted biological clock, the researchers speculated.

Cause and effect not proven

The study was observational and no cause-and-effect relationships can be drawn.

Previous studies in European and Asian women also pointed to associations between shift work and reduced ability to conceive, while other research hasn’t.

For instance, it could be that the amount and type of work a women does could be related to other aspects of her life, such as socioeconomic status, that made her less fertile.

Dr. Tom Hannam, a fertility specialist in Toronto, gives the example of a patient who cleans hotel rooms, a physically demanding job.

“She has very little control over the hours that she works,” Hannam said. “She’s forever being called in at times which make it difficult, so she’s really struggling with fertility. It’s not the individual or how much she wants to have a baby, it’s the job that she has. It’s not the heavy lifting. It’s the lack of control she has in her life which is making it difficult for her.”

Dr. Tom Hannam suspects the association between physically demanding work and fewer eggs relates to socioeconomic factors.

Link to fertility unclear

Gaskins acknowledged that many of the women coming to the clinic in the study were of slightly higher socioeconomic status than average. Women in the study who reported moving or lifting heavy objects at work were less educated on average than those who reported never doing so.

It’s also difficult to hypothesize a mechanism by which a physically demanding job could affect the ovarian reserve, as the number of eggs or oocytes is determined at birth, Prof. Adam Balen, chair of the British Fertility Society, said in statement.

If a woman is concerned, Gaskins suggested she talk to her supervisor. “Explore the possibility of discontinuing night shifts … or lowering the frequency of lifting heavy objects.”

Quitting a job in order to conceive would be a dramatic step with possible unintended consequences, Hannam said.

“Wouldn’t you hope to work in an environment that there is support? So that if you have a medical condition … your workplace is able to find a solution to give you the time and the space to take the treatment that you need? I don”t think this is just true for fertility. It’s true for all health concerns.”

Gaskins hopes to continue her research by exploring whether women who stop working shifts or heavy lifting at work show better ovarian measures in the short term.

14 Things Women Suffering From Infertility Want You To Know

1. It’s tough

Wanting a baby, but not being able to produce one is no easy thing. We think about it every day. Even if we aren’t in the process of “trying”.

2. It hurts when other people are pregnant

Not going to lie; it stings. There is always a sharp pang of sadness felt when someone announces a pregnancy.

3. We are happy you are pregnant

We don’t want to take anything way from your joy. Pregnancy deserves a fantastic celebration, so go for it! Don’t be afraid to share the news. Yes, it can be difficult for us, but it’s not you; you deserve to shout it from the rooftops. However, if you are close with someone who is really struggling, a private conversation is considerate. A general Facebook announcement showing off your baby bump can be fairly soul crushing.

4. We are bitter that other people are pregnant—not you

This is hard to admit, but we are sometimes bitter when certain people are pregnant. That expectant woman on the news being charged with child neglect—we don’t think she deserves to have another one. Why does she get eight, and we don’t get any?

5. We don’t want to hear success stories

Telling a woman who is battling infertility, “Well, this one girl I knew tried for eight years and then she had triplets” doesn’t help. We are going to the specialists. We are monitoring ovulation and sperm count and hormone levels. We are educated. We know the real stats and the success rates.If anything, tales of success don’t make us hopeful; they make us feel worse.

6. Don’t bring God/The Universe into it

“Everything happens for a reason” is a ridiculous thing to say to someone, especially to someone that doesn’t believe any outside forces are at work in their life. Even worse is something like, “Maybe it isn’t in God’s plan for you.” So, even if we don’t believe in God, knowing that He’s out there to make life miserable for us is not comforting.

7. We’ve heard of adoption

Adoption as an alternative is clearly something we’ve thought about, so don’t make the suggestion. We aren’t stupid. You don’t know why we have chosen fertility treatments over adoption. And for all you know, we are also trying adoption with no luck.

8. Don’t even ask

Why are you even asking about kids, anyway? It’s none of your business. The prime example is the post-wedding interrogation in which family members take it upon themselves to say, “Sooooo…when will you be having a baby?” Whether you know a person is dealing with infertility or not, you should never ask this question.

9. It’s OK if we want more than one kid

Maybe baby number one was a piece of cake. Have the sex, push out the baby. But subsequent children might be the real problem. Never, ever say to someone, “At least you already have one”. Not cool. Secondary infertility is difficult, too.

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10. We do feel guilty if we already have one

For moms dealing with secondary infertility, guilt can definitely play a role. Going through fertility treatments for a second child when other women are still working on their first really does make us feel bad…and very lucky, too. But please remember, we aren’t being greedy. We are trying to round out our family and bring more joy into our lives. We struggle, too.

11. We don’t want to hear your pregnancy complaints

If you know someone is dealing with fertility issues, cool it with the pregnancy complaints. You’re allowed some. If you have 24/7 nausea or if you are on bedrest, those are valid issues. Complaining that “the baby was up all night kicking and now I’m oh-so-tired” is not a legitimate grievance. You have a healthy, active baby who is living and growing inside you; consider yourself lucky.

12. It’s no laughing matter

April Fool’s jokes about being pregnant, particularly through social media, are just plain dumb. You never know what is going on with your list of friends, so think before you act.

13. We are warriors

You have no idea what fertility treatments are like. We have been poked, prodded, scraped, pricked, tested, retested, monitored and tested again. We’ve had dozens of people examine our down-there parts. We’ve collected urine in a cup many, many times. We’ve had so much blood taken that our arms look like pin cushions. Some have learned to inject hormones into their butts. Some have partners providing sperm samples down the hall (while watching really terrible porn). We’ve had ultrasounds, pelvic exams and dye shot into our reproductive systems. And still, we think it’s worth it. We KNOW it’s worth it.

14. We’re thankful you’re here

Even if you say the wrong thing—we want to thank you for the support, encouragement and just being there as we continue the struggle.

Is Bed Rest Really Necessary after IVF?

It so happened, that bed rest is the usual prescription for women who have undergone any medical procedure. For example, before women are traditionally being prescribed bed rest for six weeks after delivery. But then scientists proved that such inactive lifestyle after delivery increased risks of appearing blood clots in the deep veins.

Bed rest is usually recommended in the best intentions, but it does not guarantee a favorable outcome. However, it is very difficult to change existing stereotypes and depart from this useless advice. Nowadays, IVF treatment has been used for several decades. It is time to consider the real benefits of the various recommendations and decide whether bed rest after IVF procedures is useful or not.

Bed rest after IVF: a little historical summary

When IVF only appeared in medical practice, doctors recommend women stay in bed for two weeks after the procedure. And bed rest was taken literally: for some time after the procedure patients were not allowed to leave their bed at all. After embryo transfer, patients were brought to the hospital on a gurney, and then they are not even allowed to get up to the toilet (the bedpan was used for these purposes).

But it became clear over time that such a rigid restriction is not necessary. In 1997, studies have been conducted that have shown that bed rest (even if it comes to a 24 hour period after transfer) is actually useless precaution.

Later more serious studies related to bed rest after IVF were carried out in 2005. During the research one group of women was allowed to stand and move immediately after the IVF procedure, and others were forced to lie down for an hour after the embryo transfer. Pregnancy rates for both of these groups were same.

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After embryo transfer, patients were brought to the hospital on a gurney, and then they are not even allowed to get up to the toilet

Finally, in 2011, scientists collected all studies into a single whole, analyzed the existing data and officially announced: bed rest after IVF cannot help with the implantation of a child, but being totally sedentary may be harmful sometimes. This is because a sedentary lifestyle in combination with high levels of estrogen becomes the cause of blood clots as well as a rise in insulin resistance. You can compare: exercises lower stress hormone levels, promote healthy blood flow, and reduces inflammation.

Also, scientists have debunked another popular myth. For many years it was thought that exercise during pregnancy should be excluded because it could aggravate the situation. But in 2008, scientists have proved that moderate aerobic exercises during pregnancy are useful for healthy women. Rigorous, well-organized studies have shown that such activity had a positive effect on the mother and the unborn child. Bed rest and reduced activity after the IVF procedure can cause disturbances in blood flow and normal fluctuations in heart rate

However, even the researchers are powerless against stereotypes. It is difficult to convince the patient not to stay in bed after the treatment. Even if the doctor advises to move more, patient, according to their own convictions, or on the advice of close friends, may comply with bed rest after IVF and restrict her daily activity.

Factors that impact fertility in men

Starting a family can be a stressful process, and there are things that can affect your plans that you may not have considered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 18 percent of men who sought help with a fertility specialist were diagnosed with a male-related infertility. Here are some factors from the Texas A&M College of Nursing that can impact your fertility.

Ban briefs; go boxers
Elevated temperatures can impair sperm production and function. Although studies are limited and inconclusive, if you’re trying to start a family, switch from briefs to boxers. The change won’t happen right away; it will take your body about six to eight weeks to adjust to your new wardrobe.

Skip happy hour
Drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels, cause erectile dysfunction and decrease sperm production. Prolonged drinking can also lead to liver disease, which can impact fertility.

A study published in 2014 suggested that drinking just five units of alcohol every week could reduce the quality of a man’s sperm, and that more alcohol correlated with weaker quality of sperm. It’s also good practice for your partner’s pregnancy, as men’s alcohol consumption can make it more difficult for a woman to stop drinking, which is vital for the health of the baby.

Kick the butt
Men who smoke may have a lower sperm count than those who don’t. Even secondhand smoke has been shown to reduce fertility in both assisted and non-assisted pregnancies. In 2016, a study showed that smoking was associated with decreased sperm count, decreased sperm motility and poor sperm morphology.

If you’ve had trouble quitting in the past, talk to your health care provider for tips, as some quitting methods may provide small doses of nicotine that can affect fertility.

Watch your weight
Being overweight or underweight can have negatively impact a man’s sperm count and can decrease his libido. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 70 percent of adults were overweight or obese in 2014, and an estimated 1.7 percent of adults were underweight as of 2010.

The first step to improving your weight is managing your diet, so be sure to talk to your health care provider about ways to improve your nutrition intake.

Go get checked
There are many different underlying conditions that can affect male fertility, such as tumors, celiac disease and varicocele—a condition in which the veins are large and cause the testicles to overheat. If you’ve been diagnosed with any of these conditions, or are worried about any conditions you may have, talk to your primary care provider about what options are available for you

IVF miracle as couple beat 70 MILLION-TO-ONE odds on quads after heartbreaking struggle

For Carla and Paul Crozier, it was their last chance against all odds to give their daughter a brother or sister. The couple had been through a five-year battle just to have little Darcie in their lives.

They then went on to try for a second child through self-funded IVF, wiping out all their savings, only to lose two babies.

But undaunted Carla and Paul weren’t prepared to give up on their dream. So they made the decision to take out an £8,000 loan for one final IVF gamble.

And the shocked pair have ended up 70 million-to-one winners, with Darcie set to get three more playmates than they’d bargained for.

Carla and Paul went through a five-year ordeal to have their first daughter Darcie Because not only is Carla, 34, expecting quads, but they’re also extremely rare. The four babies, all girls, are two identical sets of twins.

“I was in absolute shock when we found out,” says Carla. “I still am. The odds of this happening are apparently one in 70 million. “It’s just crazy to think this has happened to us when we’ve had so much trouble just having one baby.”

And builder Paul, 42, adds: “I would have been happy with two children, and still can’t quite believe we’re going to have five.”

In total, the couple have endured nine traumatic years of negative pregnancy tests and miscarriages in their quest for a family, and it’s cost them a total of £16,000.

Darcie came along in 2013 thanks to fertility treatment on the NHS, but only after five frustrating years of trying to conceive naturally.

The couple, who met when Carla was just 16, then embarked on three years of heartache trying for another baby using frozen embryos from the IVF cycle that produced their daughter, now three.

Carla fell pregnant after treatment in January 2015, but lost the baby at five weeks. In September 2015, Carla again found she was expecting. But the couple endured more heartache when an eight week scan showed no heartbeat. She says: “This time I had to undergo a procedure for them to extract the tissue. It was horrific. Once it was done I broke down.

“Looking back, I don’t know how we got through those times. It was really hard. I longed so much for the babies I had lost. I even found myself resenting other pregnant women who hadn’t even planned it. It just didn’t seem fair.”

Fertilized egg cells trigger, monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory

Scientists have discovered how an embryo’s genomic integrity is safeguarded during the first 24 hours after fertilization. Insights into this mechanism have implications for improving in vitro fertilization.

The events triggered when sperm meets an egg are not only life changing for the parents but deeply fascinating from a scientific point of view, too.

The mother of all cells

Following fertilization, DNA from the mother’s egg cell and the father’s sperm cell constitute the genetic blueprint of the single-cell embryo or zygote. The incoming paternal DNA contains modifications that facilitate an “epigenetic memory” of its sperm state. Proteins provided by the fertilized egg act to largely erase this memory in order to generate a totipotent embryo that can give rise to a whole new individual. The mechanisms underlying natural reprogramming to totipotency are remarkably efficient but remain poorly understood. “To put this into perspective, reprogramming to induced pluripotency in cell culture takes several days to weeks whereas reprogramming to totipotency in zygotes occurs in less than 24 h,” says Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski, who devotes her laboratory’s research to understanding the molecular secrets of egg cells and zygotes.

New life, new epigenetics

Reporting research in the scientific journal Cell, Vienna-based scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) have discovered that not only do fertilized egg cells trigger epigenetic reprogramming of sperm DNA but this process is closely monitored to safeguard genomic integrity.

“When the sperm enters the egg cell, the densely compacted male chromatin has to be entirely ‘unpacked’ and restructured around protein scaffolds called histones,” explained Sabrina Ladstätter, first author of the study. “Using fertilized mouse eggs, we showed that the egg cell actively triggers demethylation of the paternal DNA — in other words, it initiates epigenetic reprogramming by stripping any previous epigenetic memory passed on from the father. This allows the zygote to start afresh and create its own epigenetic memory and life history. This process is not without risks: demethylation can cause lesions in the DNA that can be fatal for the new organism. It is known that these lesions can lead to chromosome fragmentation, embryo loss or infertility.”

A molecular checkpoint

The researchers identified a surveillance mechanism that not only monitors DNA lesions caused by epigenetic reprogramming but also fixes the damage. They revealed that lesions in the paternal DNA caused by demethylation activate a zygotic “checkpoint” that prevents cell division until these lesions are repaired. This mechanism, therefore, ensures that reprogramming is completed within one cell cycle and protects genomic integrity at the volatile single-cell embryo stage. Interestingly, they also found that the conditions under which embryos are cultured affect the stringency of the checkpoint response.

Hope for better IVF treatments?

“Our findings have potential implications for improving in vitro fertilization techniques,” said Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski, senior author of the study and a group leader at IMBA. “It will be exciting to explore how cell culture conditions enhance the zygote’s intrinsic surveillance and repair mechanisms, thus leading to better quality embryos and potentially more successful pregnancies.”