What To Expect During the Surrogate Medical Screening Process

October 5, 2021

Surrogacy is a delicate process, and it takes careful planning and coordination. 

During your journey, the surrogate medical screening process is crucial to helping you achieve a happy, healthy pregnancy. All tests are required to make sure that the journey goes as smoothly as possible. We want to make sure that you’re physically and mentally ready to become a surrogate mother.

Preliminary requirements

Before you go in for an in-person medical screening with the IVF specialist, we require a copy of the OB and delivery records from your previous pregnancies. Each physician may have different requirements; here are some of the most common ones to become a surrogate. 

A potential surrogate must: 

  • Be no older than 43 years of age.
  • Have had no more than three Cesarean Sections¹
  • Have had no more than six pregnancies total
  • Have had no more than two miscarriages
  • Has a BMI below 32
  • Have no history of pregnancy complications such as hypertension or gestational diabetes or delivery before 37 weeks.

Mental and physical readiness

We also require a psychological evaluation report prior to medical screening. Being a surrogate can be taxing to the mind as well as to the body, and we want to make sure that you are mentally prepared for the surrogacy journey. 

Prior to being selected to become a surrogate, an IVF specialist often prefers to see the potential candidate between cycle days 13-21 to observe the endometrium by transvaginal ultrasound. The physician will be able to see the potential of their endometrial lining; this is the area in the uterus where the embryo will implant and grow. It is favorable to have an endometrium thickness >7 mm.

What to expect when you're expecting as a gestational surrogate

Download our free e-book to learn about the surrogacy journey at Hatch. Read about the next steps after the matching process, what happens during an IVF cycle, and the compensation and benefits you earn as you give the ultimate gift of life.

Your standard screening checklist

Being a surrogate is a beautiful, yet difficult task that requires a lot of time, patience, and energy for all parties involved. It’s always important to know what to expect once you are selected. Below is a list of procedures that you could expect to go through at your in-person medical screening appointment.

  • A nurse will take your vitals, including your blood pressure and weight.
  • A physical/pelvic examination
  • Pap smear – during a pap smear, a physician will use a small brush to swab the cervix for abnormal cells 
  • A specific pelvic ultrasound examination of the uterus
  • Blood tests that check for: 
    • Standard infectious panel
    • CBC 
    • Hepatitis B Sag 
    • Hepatitis C Antibody
    • Prolactin 
    • TSH 
    • Free T4 
    • Rubella IgG 
    • Varicella IgG 
    • Rubeola IgG 
    • CMV IgG 
    • CMV IgM 
    • Antibody Screen 
    • Urine Drug Screen Cotinine W/Alcohol 
    • Urine Gonorrhea 
    • Urine Chlamydia 
    • HIV 1/2 
    • RPR/VDRL 
    • AboRh

Being selected to become a surrogate

Depending on the fertility clinic and physician, the requirements and protocol could vary or change at any time. However, the essential requirements remain the same: a vaginal ultrasound to access the uterus lining, blood work, and a urine and drug test.

It typically takes 10-14 days to clear your blood and urine tests before the physician can completely clear a surrogate to proceed. The IVF clinic will send a medical clearance letter to you and your agency, and you would then be considered an excellent candidate to proceed with treatment. 

Our team would love to support you throughout your surrogacy journey. If you find yourself needing some guidance regarding the surrogate medical screening process or any other aspect of the experience, don't hesitate to reach out to our team.

¹ Prospective surrogates who have had 3 C-Sections must have less than 5 total deliveries and must pass a mock cycle to qualify at Hatch Fertility.

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