Making a baby the traditional way is considered a fairly straightforward process. When it comes to building the modern family, however, the process is a bit more complex. What are the differences between natural and IVF conception? We’ll break it down.
The steps of fertilization in humans always involve the joining of an egg and sperm. In natural conception, the male sperm fertilizes the female egg inside the woman’s body. While many think fertilization occurs in the ovary, it actually takes place in the fallopian tube just outside the ovary.
From there, the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube. If it successfully implants in the uterus, an embryo can begin to grow.
During the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) procedure, the beginning of this process is mimicked outside of the body in a lab. Eggs are retrieved from the mother or donor, sperm is collected from the father or donor, and they are artificially fertilized before being transferred into the mother or gestational surrogate.
If you are surrogate on a surrogacy journey, your genetics play no part in creating the embryo. The intended parent(s) create an embryo using their own (or donated) eggs and their own (or donated) sperm. The surrogate shares no DNA and has no genetic relationship to the child she is carrying. The surrogate will prepare her body for pregnancy by taking medications. She will then travel to the intended parent(s)’ fertility center, where she will undergo an embryo transfer through IVF. Learn more about the surrogacy process and how to become a surrogate.
In both traditional and IVF pregnancies, the fetus starts as an embryo implanting in the uterus. Often, the IVF recipient must take special care after the embryo transfer, getting plenty of rest to be sure the embryo “sticks” to the uterine wall. She may also need to continue use of progesterone for several months to thicken the lining of the uterus, helping it implant and continue to develop. From that point on, an IVF pregnancy will progress just as a traditional pregnancy would.
A surrogate is often needed for women who cannot carry their own child to term due to infertility issues, uterus problems or if she does not have a uterus. A surrogate is also needed for single and gay men who want to become parents. Learn more about reasons someone may need a surrogate to help grow their family.
Read a thorough breakdown of the IVF process and learn more about starting your family through surrogacy, or becoming a surrogate.
And, are you a woman who enjoyed a healthy and successful pregnancy? Do you have friends or family who have suffered from infertility or need assistance from someone else to build their family? Have you ever considered the role you could play in helping someone else build their family - as a surrogate? Learn more about the process of helping someone else's dream of building a family come true. We would love to talk with you.