Step 3:

Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

embryo transfer IVFBecause of the perishable nature of the donated eggs, the In-Vitro Fetilization (IVF) of the donated eggs happens immediately after the eggs are retrieved from the donor. Embryo transfer can happen at that time, or later if embryos are frozen.

If using an egg donor, the father can donate his sperm well in advance, so the actual IVF procedure may not happen while the Future Parents are in Asia. Freezing a sperm sample has no effect on it’s potency, and most parents opt to donate their sperm and then return home. Embryo transfer is not effected.

If the Future Parents decide not to freeze the donated sperm then the egg donor, surrogate, and genetic father must all be present at our clinic during the same week to provide all the ingredients necessary to produce a pregnancy.

IVF timing is most often determined by the egg donor’s cycle. When her eggs are fully matured, the entire process comes together. But like all biological processes, the effect of fertility treatments on the donor’s cycle is not 100% predictable. In many case, the donor may be ready days before or later than anticipated.

The fertilization process typically results in several viable embryos. The most viable will undergo embryo transfer immediately. Others will be frozen in case the IVF procedure doesn’t produce a pregnancy and needs to be repeated.

Within 2 weeks following the embryo transfer, our doctors will announce that the implantation was successful and how many embryos have attached.

Success Rates and Multiple Attempts

Embryo transfer dataIn typical surrogacy cases, the two most viable embryos are implanted in the first attempt. The remaining embryos are frozen for future transfers.

With fresh embryos, each as a 40% chance of a resulting pregnancy. This also allows a 65% chance of at least one pregnancy, but also a small chance that two pregnancies will result.

Only the first attempt at embryo transfer can be made with fresh embryos. Subsequent attempts are made with frozen embryos, and the success rate falls to 45% for these transfers. Each added attempt is also an additional charge.

The chart to the right illustrates the statistical likelihood of a pregnancy for multiple embryo transfers. (These are estimates only, and no a guarantee or statement of mathematical certainty.)

Sensible Surrogacy offers a “Low Risk” surrogacy package which offers multiple embryo transfers with a refund if their surrogate does not become pregnant after 6 attempts. Contact us for details of this option.


Continue to step 4: Pregnancy & Prenatal Care

Return to step 2: Preparing your surrogate and egg donation

About the authors

  • William (Bill) Houghton
  • Author: William (Bill) Houghton

    Bill Houghton is the founder of Sensible Surrogacy, author of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide, 2x surrogacy dad, and a dedicated advocate for secure, legal and ethical Gestational Surrogacy. Read Bill's Biography